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    01 February 2024

    Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva receives four-year ban from Court of Arbitration for Sport

    Breaking News: Kamila Valieva Handed Four-Year Ban in Doping Scandal

    In a landmark decision, Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva has been slapped with a four-year ban by Switzerland’s Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) due to an anti-doping rule violation. The ban comes as a result of her positive test ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics held in Beijing.

    The CAS ruling retroactively applies the ban from December 25, 2021, which is when Valieva’s sample was collected. This long-awaited decision has been widely praised by anti-doping bodies worldwide who condemn the use of performance-enhancing substances among minors.

    “The doping of children is unforgivable,” stated the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). “Those responsible for providing such substances to underage athletes should face severe consequences under the World Anti-Doping Code.”

    Valieva’s positive test occurred when she was just fifteen years old and involved trimetazidine, a heart medication known to enhance endurance. The results came to light during the figure skating team event at the Beijing Winter Olympics where Valieva led the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) to victory ahead of Team USA and Japan, with Canada finishing fourth.

    Due to this doping controversy surrounding Valieva’s case, no medals have yet been awarded for that event. However, CAS announced that its verdict includes “the disqualification [of] all competitive results” achieved by Valieva since the positive test.

    While CAS holds no authority over the final standings of the team event, that responsibility falls to the International Skating Union (ISU). “The points Valieva earned at the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games have been nullified,” explained Travis Tygart, CEO of the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). He further emphasized ISU’s obligation to promptly address medal reallocation.

    The ISU has welcomed CAS’s decision and will release a comprehensive statement regarding its implications. Sarah Hirshland, CEO of the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), hailed this outcome as a “significant win” for athletes worldwide who advocate for clean sport.

    This doping case involving Valieva has dragged on for nearly two years, causing uncertainty for skaters from Team USA, Japan, and Canada who await confirmation on potential medal redistribution. Global Athlete, a sporting rights group, expressed frustration over these extended delays in awarding medals to deserving athletes.

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