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14 Sep, 2022 14:44

Valieva doping investigation completed – Russian officials

The figure skater found herself at the center of a storm at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics
Valieva doping investigation completed – Russian officials

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) has completed its investigation into the positive sample returned by figure skater Kamila Valieva and is preparing formal documents for a hearing on the case, officials have confirmed.

“The investigation has been concluded,” RUSADA said in a statement on Wednesday. “The next step is for the results processing department, it is preparing documents for hearings in the DAK (anti-doping disciplinary committee), in accordance with established rules and procedures.”

Valieva, 16, was caught up in a doping scandal at the Beijing Winter Olympics in February, when it was reported that she had returned a positive result for the banned hear drug trimetazidine from a sample taken at the Russian national championships in December.

Valieva had already competed in Beijing before the news of the positive sample emerged, having starred as the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) won gold in the figure skating team event.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and International Skating Union (ISU) all sought to prevent Valieva – who was 15 at the time – from competing in the women’s individual event in Beijing, but she was cleared to do so after an emergency Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) hearing ruled in her favor.

Despite being the hot favorite for gold and the world record points holder for her routines, Valieva finished a disappointing fourth in the individual event as the ordeal took its toll. 

The skater and her team, which includes renowned coach Eteri Tutberdize, have consistently denied wrongdoing, arguing that the positive sample may have resulted from contamination from medication the skater’s grandfather was taking.

They have also argued that Valieva passed numerous other doping tests, while questions have been raised as to why the WADA-accredited laboratory in Sweden which analyzed her sample took so long to report the results.  

RUSADA has since been charged with completing an investigation into the case, with WADA saying in July that it was “monitoring” the situation as it awaited the conclusions. 

The prizewinners from the team event in Beijing – where the USA won silver and Japan finished third – are still waiting to be awarded their medals after the scandal surrounding Valieva meant that the ceremony for the competition was postponed.