Valieva allegedly at center of Olympics legal case over ‘cardiac drug’ – reports
A legal case around a doping test taken by teenage star Kamila Valieva is allegedly the reason behind a canceled Winter Olympics medal ceremony to present the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) with gold in the team event at the Beijing Games, a report has claimed.
The 15-year-old, who played a vital role in the Russian team winning the event, faces a legal issue over a sample provided before the Games began, according to Inside the Games.
The Inside the Games report on the canceled ceremony on Wednesday, when the International Olympic Committee cited legal obstacles requiring agreement with the International Skating Union (ISU), claimed that the exact nature of the issue is unclear and said that part of the dispute concerns whether the alleged transgression took place in or out of competition.
The ceremony was canceled because one of the Russian team had allegedly tested positive for a substance that would not aid performance, the Guardian reported.
Valieva had become the first Winter Olympian to perform the quadruple jump twice.
The report said that the alleged issue is complicated because Valieva's age makes her a 'Protected Person' under World Anti-Doping Code rules, which would mean she could not officially be identified for an anti-doping violation.
'Several legal teams' are working on the 'complex' case, the report said, adding that a conclusion is expected on Thursday.
The outlet claimed that Valieva's age would make any penalties far less severe and alleged that the role of her 'entourage' would be closely scrutinized if she was punished.
The Independent Testing Agency (ITA), which is responsible for drugs testing at the Games, confirmed in a statement that it was aware of "various reports" regarding the figure skating ceremony.
"Any announcement connected to these events would always be publicly issued on the ITA’s website and not commented on otherwise," the agency added. "No such announcement has been published to date."
International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesperson Mark Adams emphasized that he was unable to expand on the ceremony issue because of "legal implications".
“A situation arose at short notice that requires legal consultation,” he said earlier on Wednesday.
“You can bet your bottom dollar we are doing everything to ensure that this situation can be resolved as soon as possible. I cannot give you any more details but we will do our level utmost.”
A spokesperson for the Kremlin has joined Russian politicians in calling for the public to wait for official clarification from the IOC.
Speaking shortly after the ceremony was initially called off, legendary Russian coach Tatiana Tarasova called the incident "another attack on Russia".
"We are all clean," she told Sport Express, which cited sources alleging that Valieva's sample contained an illegal drug used to treat cardiological problems. "We can't have it any other way. We have absolutely clean athletes."
Sport Express later deleted a Twitter post claiming that Valieva's ambitions of competing further at the showpiece – and the ROC's hopes of retaining its team gold and winning more medals through one of its brightest stars – will be dashed because of the wrangle.
The Guardian said the ISU had not responded to a request for a comment on the matter.