Russian figure skater Valieva facing four-year ban
Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva, 16, could be suspended from competing for a period of four years and ruled out of the 2026 Winter Olympics, according to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The CAS has announced that they have registered an appeal regarding Valieva’s case after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) argued that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) had not made satisfactory progress in concluding the matter almost a year after Valieva tested positive for a banned substance.
Valieva has maintained that her positive test result was due to a mix-up involving her grandfather’s heart medication.
Per a statement from the CAS, they said that WADA was calling for “the athlete [to] be sanctioned with a four-year period of ineligibility starting on the date on which the CAS award enters into force.”
If this request is upheld, it would extend past the next Winter Olympics, which will take place in Italy in 2026.
“WADA seeks a ruling from CAS that the Athlete committed an ADRV pursuant to Article 4.1 and/or 4.2 of the RUSADA ADR, and that the Athlete be sanctioned with a four-year period of ineligibility starting on the date on which the CAS award enters into force, as well as the disqualification of all competitive results obtained by her from, and including the date of 25 December 2021, with all resulting consequences (including forfeiture of medals, points and prizes),” the statement read.
WADA has also requested that Valieva be retrospectively banned from all competitions dating back to December 2021, when her positive test was submitted, which would mean that she would relinquish the gold medal she won at a team event at the Olympics earlier this year in Beijing.
Delays in processing Valieva’s sample, which was blamed on a backlog due to Covid-19, meant that news of her positive test was only made public after she had won the medal.
A CAS declaration at the time permitted Valieva to continue competing at the Beijing Olympics, with her young age being considered a key factor.
The current CAS process is underway and will see a three-member panel of arbiters appointed to the case. It could be months or even years before they come to a resolution.
“The CAS Panel’s decision will be final and binding, with the exception of the parties’ right to file an appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal within 30 days on very limited procedural grounds,” the statement added.