Home Somerset rules Kamila Valieva allowed to skate but no medal if she finishes in the top three

Kamila Valieva allowed to skate but no medal if she finishes in the top three

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Kamila Valieva will skate her spellbinding short program at Beijing’s Capital Indoor Arena on Tuesday, amid a whirlwind of controversy over the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s (CAS) decision to rule against the reimposition of her provisional suspension for a doping offense .

CAS cited ‘exceptional circumstances’ and fear of causing ‘irreparable harm’ to the 15-year-old for its decision to allow her to compete despite testing positive for the heart medication banned, trimetazidine, following a test at the Russian national championships over Christmas. Day.

In another extraordinary twist, the International Olympic Committee responded to the decision by stating that no medals will be awarded for the women’s event if, as expected, Valieva finishes in the top three, until the investigation is complete. on the circumstances of his the doping offense ran its course.

Kamila Valieva competed in the team event last week (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Essentially, CAS ruled that because Valieva’s age makes her a “protected person” under the World Anti-Doping Code, she may be eligible for a lesser sanction – including one that does not involve suspension. – once his case has been heard in full at a later date.

This means that Valieva, the world record holder who competed in the short and free programs of the mixed team competition last week, becoming the first skater to land quad jumps at the latter’s Olympics, is now free to participate in the women’s singles. competition that she is the big favorite to win.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), one of three parties, in addition to the International Testing Agency (ITA) and the International Skating Union (ISU) to challenge the lifting of Valieva’s provisional suspension by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), said it was “disappointed” by the decision.

Sarah Hirshland, chief executive of the United States Olympic Committee (USPOC), called the saga “a new chapter in Russia’s systemic and pervasive disregard for clean sport”.

She added: “Athletes have the right to know that they are competing on a level playing field. Unfortunately, today, this right is violated. This appears to be another chapter in Russia’s systemic and pervasive disregard for clean sport. »

Kim Yu Na, Olympic figure skating gold medalist in 2010, posted a black square on her Instagram account and wrote, “The athlete who violates doping cannot participate in the Games. The principles must be respected without exception. The efforts and dreams of all players are equally valuable.

Valieva, who trained as scheduled at the venue on Monday evening, is coached by Eteri Tutberidze at the controversial Sambo-70 club in Moscow, along with compatriots Alexandra Trusova and Anna Shcherbakova, who complete the medal sweep for the Russian Olympic Committee.

Attention turned to the training methods used to elevate the teenage girls to extraordinary heights, and it was the question of the potential guilt of those around her in relation to her alleged offense that seemed to have convinced the ad panel. hoc put in place by CAS to provide her with an Olympic reprieve.

CAS Director General Matthieu Reeb said: “Although these rules contain specific provisions for proof of a different standard of proof and for lower penalties in case of protected persons, the panel was therefore concerned that if a permanent suspension is imposed on the athlete and later – ultimately, after all procedures are completed – it would not be sanctioned or would have a very weak sanction, the provisional suspensions would have caused serious damage.

Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics - Day Ten
Kamila Valieva has returned to training after her Olympic reprieve (Andrew Milligan/PA)

At a press conference in Beijing, Reeb largely read the official statement and did not answer questions.

The CAS statement, released at the same time, outlined a number of other reasons for its verdict, including the delay in delivering Valieva’s test result from the WADA-accredited lab in Stockholm to RUSADA.

The statement read: “The panel considered (the) fundamental principle of fairness, proportionality, irreparable harm and relative balance of interests between the applicants and the athlete, who did not test positive during the Beijing Olympics and is still subject to substantive disciplinary proceedings following the positive doping control carried out in December 2021.

“In particular, the jury found that preventing the athlete from competing in the Olympics would cause him irreparable harm in these circumstances.

“The CAS panel also pointed out that there were serious issues with the untimely reporting of the Athlete’s doping test results which were performed in December 2021, which impinged on the Athlete’s ability to establish certain legal requirements to his advantage, when such late notification was not his fault, in the midst of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.”

Kamila Valieva during training in Beijing
Kamila Valieva submitted a positive sample for the banned heart drug trimetazidine on Christmas Day (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Trimetazidine, used to treat chest pain and angina pectoris, increases blood flow to the heart. It was added to WADA’s Prohibited Substances List in 2014.

News of Valieva’s positive test broke last week following a delay in the medal presentation for the team event, in which Valieva, dubbed ‘Miss Perfect’ in her native country, dazzled.

The result of the team event, which Russia won against the United States with Japan in third place and Canada in fourth place, will also not be ratified until the conclusion of the Valieva case, which which means that awarding medals can take months or even years.