Russian Figure Skater Kamila Valieva Cleared to Compete in Olympics Amid Scandal

It has been determined that ROC skater Kamila Valieva will be allowed to continue to compete in the 2022 Olympics following reports she tested positive for a banned substance prior to the Games.

By Elyse Dupre, Gabrielle Chung Feb 14, 2022 1:05 PMTags
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UPDATE: Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva, 15, will be allowed to continue to compete in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics after it was reported that she had tested positive for a banned substance prior to the Games. 

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced the decision on Monday, Feb. 14, just one day before the women's singles short program.

According to NBC News, the decision came after officials heard six hours of testimony. In a press conference, CAS Director General Matthieu Reeb cited protections for minors like Valieva, "irreparable harm" that he said could be caused to the athlete by not letting her compete, and the "untimely notification of the results" following her positive test for a heart medication called trimetazidine—which is banned due to properties that can improve endurance—in December as reasons for the decision. 

According to The New York Times, a medal ceremony will not be held until Valieva's case is resolved. "Should Ms. Valieva finish amongst the top three competitors in the women's singles skating competition," the Olympic committee said in a statement, per the report, "no flower ceremony and no medal ceremony will take place during the Olympic Winter Games."


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There's been a bump in the ice at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

According to NBC Sports, 15-year-old Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva tested positive for a banned substance prior to this year's Beijing Games. The sample was reportedly obtained prior to Valieva's win at the European Figure Skating Championships in Tallinn, Estonia last month. 

The drug detected is a heart medication called trimetazidine, NBC News reported. The substance was banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency due to properties that can improve endurance.

The news comes days after the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) won the gold medal in the team figure skating event, with Valieva making history as the first woman to land a quadruple jump at the Olympics—then do a second one for good measure. The ROC had scored an overall 74 points, beating out the United States and Japan, who respectively placed second and third with 65 and 63 points. 

At this time, NBC Sports explained, it's unclear if or how this test result could affect the results of the team event or Valieva's chance at skating in the individual event, which is scheduled to begin next week. However, the outlet noted Valieva was recently spotted at practice and that Russian figure skating federation spokeswoman Olga Ermolina said, "She is not suspended."

Li Yibo/Xinhua via Getty Images

While the medal ceremony was initially scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 8, it has since been delayed.

In a press conference on Feb. 9, International Olympic Committee spokesperson Mark Adams said the ceremony was postponed when "a situation arose" that required "legal consultation" with the International Skating Union.

"We have athletes and athletes that have won medals involved," he told reporters, per NBC News. "We will be doing our level utmost to make sure it is resolved as quickly as possible."

The International Skating Union also noted on Feb. 10 it "cannot disclose any information about any possible Anti-Doping rule violation," explaining, "This is in line with the ISU Anti-Doping Rules and IOC Anti-Doping Rules for Beijing 2022."

Russian athletes are currently competing under the ROC banner—and not on behalf of Russia the country—after the eastern European nation was put on a four-year timeout from participating in international sports in 2019. The ban came after over 1,000 Russian athletes from more than 30 sports were accused of being a part of a state-run doping program.

During the 2018 PyeongChang Games, Russian athletes competed under the "Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR)" title. They participated in the 2020 Tokyo Games as the ROC.

E! News reached out to the ROC, IOC and ISU for comment but did not hear back. 

(This story was originally published Friday, Feb. 10 at 6:49 a.m. PST)

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