Kamila Valieva: what we know and don't know about her case

the referees decision to allow the Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva competing this week brought little clarity to the dispute over...


the referees decision to allow the Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva competing this week brought little clarity to the dispute over his positive test for a banned substance. Some lingering questions are unlikely to be answered for weeks or even months.

Valieva, the 15-year-old prodigy who last week became the first woman to land a quadruple jump in Olympic competition, has been crucial to Victory for Russia in the team event, and she is widely seen as the favorite for the women’s individual competition which opens on Tuesday night in Beijing. But the consequences of her positive test are only just beginning to be felt in the skating world, and at least a dozen of her competitors will not receive their own medals until her case is resolved.

Here’s what we know so far and what we don’t.

Valieva tested positive for trimetazidine, a banned substance. The drug, known as TMZ, is a heart medication that could increase endurance. The positive result comes from a urine sample that Valieva submitted during the Russian national championship on December 25. But the result was not confirmed and passed on to Russian officials, and then to her, for more than six weeks. Russia’s anti-doping agency said it learned of the failed test on Feb. 7, the day Valieva led the Russians to a gold medal in the team event.

It is not known whether Valieva knowingly took a prohibited drug. Many experts have said, based on past cases, it’s possible she was given the drug by adults, probably without her knowledge.

The adults around him – coaches, coaches and medical staff who may have known about the drug use or provided him with trimetazidine – could be punished.

Valieva has not spoken to reporters since her positive test came to light.

Valieva’s trainer, Eteri Tutberidzetold Russian state broadcaster Channel One in his first public comments on the case on Saturday that there were “many questions and very few answers” regarding the positive test result.

If she is declared ineligible, even weeks or months from now, she or the Russian team could have their gold medals stripped from the team event. And if she wins a women’s singles medal, that could also be revoked. The International Olympic Committee said Monday that no medals will be awarded in the events in Beijing in which Valieva has won or claimed a place on the podium, at least until the matter is resolved.

Because she is under 16, Valieva is considered a “protected person” by the World Anti-Doping Agency and could therefore receive a lesser sentence than an adult who could receive a maximum suspension of two years. If she can show that her drug use was unintentional, she could only receive a reprimand and be able to keep her medal(s).

Had the results of her December 25 drug test been released in a timely manner, Valieva may not have been able to attend the Beijing Games.

Travis T. Tygart, Chief Executive Officer of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, called him “total gross incompetence” that it took more than a month for Valieva’s test result to be reported by the lab, and he said the Russian anti-doping agency and the World Anti-Doping Agency, which operates the lab in Stockholm, should have accelerated the result with the Olympic Games approaching. WADA said on Monday that Russia failed to signal the urgency of the test to the lab, which could have led to a faster turnaround. Russian officials have said they believe the lab is understaffed due to the pandemic.

Russia has been banned from the last three Olympics after it was revealed that it staged a state-sponsored doping regime at the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia. Corn Russian athletes were allowed to compete with special permission as so-called neutral athletes. At these Games, they compete as the Russian Olympic Committee, but the Russian flag cannot be flown and its anthem cannot be played at medal ceremonies.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport, the highest legal body in world sport, has appointed a panel of judges who ruled on a narrow procedural point: should Russia’s anti-doping agency reinstate a provisional ban it imposed on Valieva last week, then quickly lifted? The panel said on Monday it would be unfair and cause “irreparable harm” to Valieva if she were barred from Olympic competition.

The panel of arbitrators said it “considered the fundamental principles of fairness, proportionality, irreparable harm and balance of interests” between Valieva and the organizations, including the IOC, seeking to bar it from Games. He also noted that she was underage and had not tested positive during the Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee ruled that Valieva – and other medalists in her event, should she finish in the top three – would not be recognized in the traditional way after events that included her due to lingering doubts about her eligibility.

This includes both the flower ceremony — in Beijing, the athletes receive a toy Games mascot — and the medal ceremony.

It appears that the IOC is considering the possibility of Valieva being stripped of its medals and its competitors being elevated to higher rewards. But the committee did not say why it would not award medals to rival competitors in the interim.

The IOC said there would be no medal ceremonies during the Games for the team event, and none during the Games for the women’s individual event if Valieva finishes in the top three. He said he would hold “dignified medal ceremonies once Ms Valieva’s case is concluded”, a process that could take months.

If Valieva does not finish in the top three of the women’s competition, medals will be awarded as normal. But given his talents, that would be a surprise.

Team USA took silver in the event, behind the Russians. If Valieva, or the Russian team as a whole, is disqualified over a doping case, even months from now, the American team would receive the gold medal. In such a case, Japan, who won bronze, would win silver, and Canada, who finished fourth, would receive bronze.

She was cleared to compete in the women’s singles competition, which begins with the short program on Tuesday night in Beijing (Tuesday morning in the US) and ends with the free program on Thursday night in Beijing (Thursday morning in the US) . ). She attended training on Sunday and Monday but declined to speak to reporters afterwards.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Kamila Valieva: what we know and don't know about her case
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