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14 Feb, 2022 09:56

IOC won’t hold ceremony if Kamila Valieva wins medal

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will not hold the medal ceremony for the women’s figure skating event if Kamila Valieva is among the prize winners in Beijing
IOC won’t hold ceremony if Kamila Valieva wins medal

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced it will not hold the medal ceremony for the women’s individual figure skating event at the Beijing Games if Russian participant Kamila Valieva finishes on the podium.

The organization also said it would not be holding the delayed ceremony for the figure skating team event in Beijing, which was won by a Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) team including the 15-year-old Valieva.

“In the interest of fairness to all athletes and the NOCs [National Olympic Committees] concerned, it would not be appropriate to hold the medal ceremony for the figure skating team event during the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 as it would include an athlete who on the one hand has a positive A-sample, but whose violation of the anti-doping rules has not yet been established on the other hand,” read a statement citing a decison by the IOC Executive Board. 

“Should Ms Valieva finish amongst the top three competitors in the women’s single skating competition, no flower ceremony and no medal ceremony will take place during the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022,” it added. 

Along with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Skating Union (ISU), the IOC lost its bid to reimpose a provisional suspension on Valieva which would have barred her from further participation in Beijing. 

An emergency hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that Valieva, who is strong favorite for the gold medal, should be allowed to compete in the individual event despite returning a positive sample from a doping test taken in December at the Russian national championships.

CAS cited Valieva's status as a 'protected person' under the WADA Code because of her age, and also noted issues surrounding delays in the positive test being reported. 

The results of the test, which was analyzed at a WADA-accredited laboratory in Stockholm, were only reported last week, after Valieva had already starred in the ROC's team victory in Beijing.  

Officials from the Russian Olympic team have said that Valieva repeatedly passed doping tests before and after the positive result for the banned heart medicine trimetazidine – including at the Beijing Games. 

Valieva had initially been handed a provisional suspension by Russian anti-doping officials, although that was reversed upon appeal from the skater. 

RT

In its decision on Monday, CAS noted that it was not ruling on the status of the ROC's gold medal in the team event in Beijing. Investigations are also continuing into the circumstances of Valieva's positive test on December 25, including a probe of the skater's entourage. 

In her first season in the senior ranks, Valieva is a multiple world record holder for women's figure skating points tallies and is reigning Russian and European champion. 

She will be joined by ROC teammates Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova when Tuesday's individual event begins with the short program in Beijing, followed by the free skate routines on Thursday. 

Concluding its statement on Monday, the IOC said it will "organize dignified medal ceremonies once the case of Ms Valieva has been concluded."

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