Kamila Valieva, a Russian figure skater, claims her positive drug test was caused by contamination from her grandfather’s medicine.
Kamila Valieva: After a court ruled on Monday that a provisional suspension should not be re-imposed, the 15-year-old will be allowed to compete in Beijing 2022. Valieva learned she had failed a drug test a week ago, but she was able to successfully appeal a Russian Anti-Doping Agency decision to impose a provisional suspension. After hearing appeals from the IOC and others, the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld the decision on Monday.
It allowed Valieva to continue competing in the Games, and she will compete for gold in the women’s figure skating competition on Tuesday.
Denis Oswald of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) told reporters, “Her argument was that this contamination happened with a product her grandfather was taking.”
The pre-Games favorite, who had already wowed judges by helping the Russian Olympic Committee win the team event, continued training – in front of the cameras – despite doubts about her ability to compete. “These [past] days have been very difficult for me,” Valieva told Russia’s Channel One television, crying at times at the training rink.” It’s as if I don’t have any emotions left; I’m happy but emotionally exhausted at the same time.”
Because of this case, Russia, which has been barred from competing under its own flag at the Games due to its doping history, has once again come into question. However, Oswald, who chaired the IOC commission that investigated Russian athletes’ doping violations at the 2014 Sochi Games, said that it appeared at this point that there was “no connection with the institutionalised doping we had in Sochi,” but that it was difficult to form an opinion until all the details were known.
Valieva is aware that if she wins a medal in the women’s event, which begins on Tuesday with the short program and ends on Thursday with the free skate, there will be no medal ceremony.
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