Thursday, December 8, 2022

Kamila Valieva, Russian figure skater, can compete at Olympics, CAS rules

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Valieva skated within the staff occasion regardless of testing constructive for a banned substance in late December. The results of that drug check was not reported till final week, after the Games had begun, and the Court of Arbitration for Sport dominated that Valieva’s suspension must be lifted, siding with Russia’s anti-doping company over the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Olympic Committee.

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The court docket dominated in Valieva’s favor for a number of causes, based on the choice CAS launched: Valieva is taken into account a “protected person” underneath the World Anti-Doping Agency’s code as a result of she is underneath 16 years previous, and the world anti-doping code treats such opponents with totally different requirements of proof and gives no particular steering for provisional suspensions for them; she would endure irreparable hurt if suspended after which later discovered harmless; CAS discovered “serious issues of untimely notification,” which means that Valieva didn’t have time for a full authorized course of earlier than the Games.

Valieva’s case, together with whether or not the Russian Olympic Committee will obtain the gold medal it gained within the staff figure skating occasion, stays ongoing throughout the IOC’s authorized course of. But CAS primarily mentioned Valieva must be permitted to skate for now in case that course of both exonerates or frivolously punishes her.

“The panel was very concerned that if a provisional suspension was imposed on the athlete, and later at the end of the day, at the completion of all procedures, she would not be sanctioned or would have a very low sanction, the provisional sanction would have caused serious damage,” CAS Director General Matthieu Reeb mentioned at a news convention.

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The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee responded inside minutes of the ruling, harshly criticizing CAS’s ruling and Russia, which is competing underneath the ROC banner as punishment for the pervasive, state-sponsored doping program the nation orchestrated at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

“We are disappointed by the message this decision sends,” USOPC chief govt Sarah Hirshland mentioned. “It is the collective responsibility of the entire Olympic community to protest the integrity of sport and to hold our athlete, coaches and all involved to the highest of standards. Athletes have the right to know they are competing on a level playing field. Unfortunately today that right is being denied. This appears to be another chapter in the systemic and pervasive disregard for clean sport by Russia.

“We know this case is not yet closed, and we call on everyone in the Olympic Movement to continue to fight for clean sport on behalf of athletes around the world.”

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The CAS ruling left open whether or not the IOC will award the ROC the staff figure skating gold medals it gained final week with Valieva main the way in which. The medal ceremony has not occurred. The United States completed second and can be in line to win gold if Russia is stripped of its first-place end.

“This decision is only about the provisional suspension of her start in future events, and only about that,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams mentioned earlier Monday, earlier than the CAS resolution was launched. “It’s not about the medal ceremonies or future ceremonies. For us and for all of you, this is an unsatisfactory situation. We would have liked, and have asked for, the parties to have the whole case in its entirety being settled once and for all before this competition starts. We still would hope for that, although that’s unlikely.

“It’s a deeply concerning for us and, of course, for all the athletes,” Adams added.

After the Russian Anti-Doping Agency acquired Valieva’s check outcomes from a Swedish lab, Valieva was briefly suspended. Valieva challenged that call Feb. 9, and a Russian anti-doping disciplinary committee lifted the suspension, permitting her to proceed coaching forward of the person competitors in Beijing. The IOC and WADA appealed the lifting of the suspension, prompting an expedited CAS listening to.

Valieva entered the Games because the gold medal favourite within the particular person competitors, and she or he headlines the trio of Russian youngsters who might sweep the medal podium. The defending European champion and Russian nationwide champion, she can carry out troublesome quadruple jumps, and in the course of the staff occasion, earlier than the lab reported her constructive drug check, she turned the primary girl to land a quad at the Olympics. She continued to observe Monday, and afterward, she walked via the combined zone with out stopping to answering questions.

This doping controversy has tarnished one of many Games’ marquee sports activities. Valieva’s distinctive performances highlighted the Russians’ win within the staff occasion, however now the outcomes are unsure.

Before the court docket’s ruling, the ROC mentioned in an announcement that it “is taking comprehensive measures to protect the rights and interests of the ROC Team members and to keep the Olympic gold medal won in fair competition.”

The ROC confirmed Valieva’s constructive doping check from a pattern collected Dec. 25, in the course of the Russian nationwide championships, however added that she has examined destructive earlier than and after that date. That pattern contained the prohibited substance trimetazidine, a drug for individuals with a situation referred to as angina that causes extreme chest ache due to insufficient blood circulation to the center. The drug, which has by no means been authorized to be used within the United States, might enhance an athlete’s endurance.

According to the Associated Press, Valieva’s coach, Eteri Tutberidze, instructed Russian tv: “We are absolutely sure that Kamila is innocent and clean.”

The WADA-accredited lab in Stockholm reported Valieva’s check consequence greater than six weeks after it was collected. A WADA’s handbook says that the reporting of the outcomes from a drug check ought to happen inside 20 days of receipt of the pattern. It is unclear when the lab acquired Valieva’s pattern.

“Such late notification was not her fault in the middle of the Olympic Games,” Reeb mentioned. “The late notification is extremely unfortunate, as it affects not only the athlete, but also the organizers of the Olympic Winter Games. In other words, we would not have this case, and I would not be here, if these anti-doping test procedures would have been completed in one week or 10 days as it is generally the case.”

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency mentioned in an announcement that the laboratory knowledgeable the company “the delay in analysis and reporting by the laboratory was caused by another wave of covid-19, an increase in illness among laboratory staff and quarantine rules.”

The Russian athletes in Beijing are competing underneath the banner of the Russian Olympic Committee as a result of the nation has been banned from the previous three Games because the publicity of a state-sponsored doping scheme at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Russian athletes have nonetheless competed at every Olympics, first as “Olympic Athletes from Russia” in PyeongChang after which as representatives of the Russian Olympic Committee in Tokyo and right here.

Valieva is taken into account a “protected person” by WADA as a result of she is underneath the age of 16. RUSADA mentioned in an announcement that it has initiated an investigation into Valieva’s personnel to “identify all the circumstances of the possible anti-doping rules violation in the interests of a ‘protected person.’”

The WADA code reads: “The Code treats Protected Persons differently than other Athletes or Persons in certain circumstances based on the understanding that, below a certain age or intellectual capacity, an Athlete or other Person may not possess the mental capacity to understand and appreciate the prohibitions against conduct contained in the Code.”

Russian ice dancer Nikita Katsalapov was requested Saturday whether or not he thought the scandal round Valieva’s check was dangerous for figure skating. He paused for a second, then replied: “It’s bad for everyone, and certain situations around the sport are really bad, but I hope everything will be good for Kamila.”

Katsalapov then was requested whether or not Valieva was upset.

“Of course she is,” he replied. “This situation is very strange.”

At the CAS news convention Monday, Reeb sat alone and barely strayed from the report CAS had launched. He spoke for roughly 4 minutes, then thanked a roomful of reporters and walked off the stage.

“How come no questions?” a reporter shouted at Reeb as he walked off a protracted dais, staring straight forward. “How come no questions?”

Les Carpenter contributed to this report.

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