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11 Feb, 2022 05:31

International skating bosses want Valieva suspended over doping scandal

The ISU said it will seek to suspend the Russian favorite to win gold at the Beijing Olympics
International skating bosses want Valieva suspended over doping scandal

The International Skating Union (ISU) said on Friday it will ask the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to reinstate the decision to suspend Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva from the Beijing Olympics over a positive doping test.

Valieva, 15, won a gold medal with the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) in the figure skating team event in Beijing, but the award ceremony has been postponed indefinitely.

The International Testing Agency (ITA) revealed on Friday that the skater tested positive in December for the heart medicine trimetazidine.

The sample was taken during the Russian Figure Skating Championships in St. Petersburg.

It was tested at a laboratory in Stockholm accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which reported the positive result on February 8, a day after the team event in Beijing concluded, the ITA said.

As the sample was collected under the authority of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), it was up to the Russian doping watchdog to take further action – which it did, suspending Valieva provisionally “with immediate effect.” 

However, Valieva successfully appealed that suspension with RUSADA’s Disciplinary Anti-Doping Committee, leading to her ban on training and competing being lifted by the end of the same day.

The ITA said the IOC has decided to appeal the move to lift the suspension to CAS – a step which has also been taken by the ISU.  

"The ISU will exercise its right to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) the decision of the RUSADA Disciplinary Anti Doping Committee of February 9 to lift the provisional suspension and to ask CAS to reinstate the provisional suspension," read a statement from the skating organization. 

"As this is an ongoing legal case, the ISU will not comment further." 

Officials from the Russian figure skating federation have issued a statement saying they have "no doubts" about the honesty of Valieva and that she is a 'clean' athlete. The organization added that it will make "every effort to clarify the circumstances" of the situation.  

CAS is now expected to hear the case before Valieva’s scheduled appearance in the ladies’ singles event in Beijing, which gets underway on Tuesday, February 15.

The reigning European and Russian champion, Valieva was the star of the show as the ROC won the figure skating team gold in Beijing, finishing ahead of the USA and Japan.

Valieva is the world record holder for points tallies in the short and free programs in ladies' figure skating, and also holds the record for the highest overall points score.

The Kazan-born skater is in her first senior season and was the hot favorite for gold in the ladies’ individual event, where the ROC team will also be represented by Alexandra Trusova and Anna Shcherbakova.     

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