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19 Mar, 2022 10:53

WADA announces Valieva deadline decision

WADA says that all investigations into Kamila Valieva's doping case must be completed by August 8
WADA announces Valieva deadline decision

An investigation conducted by RUSADA, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, into the circumstances surrounding the positive drug test submitted by teenage figure skater Kamila Valieva in advance of the recent Winter Olympics in Beijing must be completed by August 8, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has said. 

Russian native Valieva, 15,  was central to a media storm during the the February's Winter Olympics after a drug test she submitted in December was discovered to contain a banned substance - but due to procedural delays, the result of the test was only revealed after Valieva had competed for the ROC in the figure skating team event for which she won gold.

This led to a delay in the medal ceremony and further investigations into Valieva - but due to her age, she was classified as a minor and as a result was designated as being a "protected person" according to WADA guidelines. 

This prompted the International Olympic Committee and RUSADA to announce that they were extending their investigation into Valieva's case to include other figures close to the teenager, including her coaching staff and team doctors.

Ultimately, Valieva was granted permission by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to compete in the women's singles event after it was determined the preventing her from doing so "would cause her irreparable harm in the circumstances".

They also noted, however, that any medals won by Valieva would be subject to the official investigation. At the women's singles event, the pressure appeared to affect Valieva who gave an error-strewn performance to drop out of the medal positions.

And according to the latest statement from WADA on Valieva's case, they expect the investigative process to be concluded in early August.

"Such terms are the international standard for processing test results, since the notification was made on February 8," WADA said in a statement, reflecting what would be a six-month period for the probe to be conducted.

Valieva and her team, meanwhile, have explained that an accidental contamination of her grandfather's heart medication was the likely cause of the initial positive test, or that it became mixed into her regular regimen of legal nutrients and supplements. 

It was theorized by Travis Tygart of USADA that due to Valieva's age, she may be given a warning if it determined that there was wrongdoing - but he also suggested that she could also be given a two-year ban from the sport, half the time usually given to adults.