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21 Oct, 2022 15:21

Anti-doping officials make Valieva announcement

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) commented on the figure skater’s case on Friday
Anti-doping officials make Valieva announcement

Russian anti-doping officials are not planning to disclose the details of a hearing involving Olympic champion figure skater Kamila Valieva, it has been announced.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) said last month that it had completed an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Valieva’s positive test for the banned substance trimetazidine, the news of which emerged at the Beijing Winter Olympics in February. 

RUSADA general director Veronika Loginova said last month that the case would progress to a disciplinary anti-doping committee (DAC), suggesting that a hearing would take place sometime in October.

On Friday, RUSADA confirmed in a press release that the details of the hearing would not be made public, citing 16-year-old Valieva’s status as a “protected person” because of her age.

"In order to protect the interests of the skater – a member of the ROC (Russian Olympic Committee), who is a protected person, RUSADA declares that... all processes and procedures related to processing results, including the charge and the final decision are confidential,” read a statement on the RUSADA website.

“Strictly observing the principles of international and Russian anti-doping standards, and also taking into account the nature and circumstances of the case, RUSADA does not intend to announce the date of the hearing, the decision or other details in the case.”

Valieva’s doping scandal emerged as the biggest story at the Beijing 2022 Winter Games.

Then aged 15, Valieva had already helped Russia to gold in the figure skating team event before her positive doping test was reported.

The result was based on a sample taken in December 2021 at the Russian national championships, but which was sent for analysis at a laboratory in Stockholm, Sweden, accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Despite efforts from WADA, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Skating Union (ISU) for Valieva to be banned from the individual competition in Beijing, she was cleared to compete by an emergency Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) panel.

The hot favorite for gold and the world record points holder for her routines, Valieva ended up finishing a disappointing fourth as the pressure of her ordeal took its toll.

Valieva and her team, which includes renowned trainer Eteri Tutberidze, have vehemently denied any wrongdoing throughout the doping scandal.

They suggested at the emergency CAS hearing in Beijing that the positive result may have come via contamination from heart medication that Valieva’s grandfather was taking.

Russian officials also said that Valieva had consistently passed other doping tests, while questions were asked regarding the delay with the Stockholm laboratory reporting the positive result.

RUSADA was tasked with investigating the case, although officials at WADA have warned they are closely monitoring developments and reserve the right to contest the outcome. Should Valieva be found guilty of a violation, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) would stand to lose the gold medal it won in the figure skating team event in Beijing.  

Meanwhile, Valieva and her fellow Russian figure skaters have been banned from all ISU competition this season because of the conflict in Ukraine, meaning she will be restricted to tournaments in her homeland.