The Court of Arbitration for Sport announced it would decide the fate of Russian figure skating prodigy Kamila Valieva, who won Olympic gold after having allegedly used a banned substance. Aged 15, she produced a dazzling performance in the team event at the 2022 Winter Games before it was revealed she had failed a drugs test before the Olympics. The International Olympic Committee allowed her to compete in the individual final but her tearful meltdown on the ice became the biggest story of the Games.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) acted on an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) which accused the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) of dragging its feet in its own proceedings on Valieva. "The CAS arbitration proceedings have commenced," the international tribunal in the Swiss city of Lausanne said in a statement about Valieva.
At the Winter Games in February, Valieva became the first female skater to land a quadruple jump in Olympic competition, helping the Russian team secure gold in the team event. It then emerged she had tested positive before the Games for trimetazidine, a drug used to treat angina but which is banned for athletes because it can increase blood flow efficiency and boost endurance.
The urine sample was taken from Valieva on December 25, 2021 at the Russian National Figure Skating Championships. RUSADA opened an investigation, but WADA referred the case to CAS "as no decision was issued by RUSADA within the time limit set by WADA", the Lausanne court said. RUSADA had said it would not reveal either the date of Valieva's hearing or the verdict, adding it had made the decision to "protect the interests" of the 16-year-old, who is a "protected person".
Credit: Independent News Pakistan-INP