Kamila Valieva: Russian figure skater given four-year ban for doping

Valieva tested positive for banned heart medication trimetazidine in December 2021.

She had become an instant global star as the first female skater to land a quadruple jump at a Winter Olympics.

Russia won gold in the team figure skating event on 7 February 2022, but it was announced four days later that Valieva had failed a drugs test before the Games.

The sample had been collected on 25 December at the Russian Figure Skating Championships in St Petersburg.

Valieva received a provisional ban but that was lifted by a court and she was allowed to compete in the women’s singles event. However, her performance featured a number of falls and stumbles and she left the ice in tears.

A Rusada investigation then cleared her of intentionally doping, but Wada appealed against that finding at Cas, sport’s highest court.

Wada and the International Skating Union (ISU) said they were “concerned” by the decision and sought a four-year ban, and for all her results from the date of the sample collection on 25 December 2021 to be expunged.

The ISU also called on Cas to determine the final results of the team gold event in Beijing. Though Cas says that duty will now fall elsewhere, the United States, who finished in the silver medal position, are set to be awarded gold, with Japan elevated to silver and Canada receiving bronze following their fourth-place finish two years ago.

“Today is a day we have been eagerly awaiting for two years, as it is a significant win not only for Team USA athletes but also for athletes worldwide who practise fair play and advocate for clean sport,” said Sarah Hirshland, chief executive officer of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

“We now anticipate the day when we can wholeheartedly celebrate these athletes, along with their peers from around the world.”

The ISU subsequently raised the minimum age for competitors in senior events from 15 to 17 to protect skaters’ “physical and mental health, and emotional well-being”.

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