Russian figure skating sensation Kamila Valieva, once a beacon of her sport, now faces a four-year ban effective from December 25, 2021, following a doping scandal.
Why did Kamila Valieva receive a four-year ban?
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) delivered this decision after the revelation of Valieva’s positive test for Trimetazidine, a prohibited heart medication “used to prevent angina attacks, which are sudden pains to the chest, jaw and back brought on by physical effort, due to reduced blood flow to the heart.”
Valieva, only 15 at the time of the test, has had all her results from the 2022 Winter Olympics voided as a consequence.
This ruling has a domino effect, reshuffling the medal table of the team figure skating event at the 2022 Olympics.
However, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) withheld the medals amid the brewing controversy.
Now, with Russia’s disqualification, Team USA stands to be upgraded to gold, while Japan and Canada could be in line for silver and bronze, respectively.
What are Valieva’s options?
The journey to this verdict has been long and winding. Valieva continued to compete domestically after the 2022 Olympics, including a third-place finish at the Russian Championships in late December.
Her exceptional talent was evident as she was the world’s top women’s singles skater heading into the 2022 Olympics, where she was initially cleared to compete despite the ongoing controversy.
However, the CAS panel, in its latest ruling, rejected any leniency based on her age, asserting that Russian anti-doping rules applicable to Valieva’s case do not differentiate based on the age of the athlete.
The decision stands firm unless successfully appealed within 30 days to the Swiss Federal Tribunal on limited procedural grounds.
Valieva’s suspension has nullified all her competitive results since 25 December 2021.
This includes the need to forfeit titles, awards, medals, profits, prizes, and appearance money earned since that date.
The International Olympic Committee is set to make a final determination regarding the reallocation of medals in their upcoming March meeting.
The members of the American team who are potentially on the cusp of receiving the gold include Jason Brown, Alysa Liu, Karen Chen, Nathan Chen, Vincent Zhou, and Mariah Bell.
Their efforts and dedication during the Olympics are now receiving the recognition they merit, aligning with the global sporting community’s commitment to fair play and clean sport.