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RUSADA Has Cleared Russian Figure Skater Kamila Valieva

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RUSADA has cleared Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva and WADA will review the doping decision and consider an appeal.

According to the World Anti-Doping Agency, figure skater Kamila Valieva was found to have violated anti-doping rules by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA). However, RUSADA determined that Valieva did not bear any "fault or negligence" for the transgression (WADA).

The Violation

The ruling effectively absolves Valieva of any wrongdoing and absolves her of any punishment other than the disqualification of her results beginning on December 25, 2021, the date on which her sample was collected.

The decision, which was made by an RUSADA tribunal, would make it possible for the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) to be awarded the gold medals that were won in the team figure skating event at the Olympics in Beijing in 2022.

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The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has issued a statement that gives the impression that the organization will most likely file an appeal of the verdict.

WADA notes this outcome and has requested a copy of the full reasoned decision, which it will review together with the case file in order to determine whether the ruling is in line with the terms of the World Anti-Doping Code.

- (WADA)

WADA also added:

However, based on the elements of the case with which WADA is already familiar, the Agency is concerned by the finding of ‘no fault or negligence’ and will not hesitate to exercise its right of appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, as appropriate. Following a full review of the RUSADA decision, WADA will consider what its next steps will be so that the matter is dealt with as quickly as possible and without further undue delay.

- (WADA)

In a statement, Travis Tygart, the Chief Executive Officer of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), said the following:

WADA and the ISU [International Skating Union] have to appeal this decision, for the sake of the credibility of the anti-doping system, and for the rights of all athletes. The world can’t possibly accept this self-serving decision by RUSADA, which in the recent past has been a key instrument of Russia’s state sponsored doping fraud and is non-compliant. Justice demands a full, fair, public hearing outside of Russia.

- Travis Tygart

After guiding the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) to victory in the team event in Beijing, where she became the first woman to land a quadruple jump in the Winter Olympics, Valieva, who is now 16 years old, was suspended by RUSADA the day after the competition.

In December of 2021, she had a positive drug test for a prohibited substance known as trimetazidine, a medication for the heart that can increase one's endurance. However, the results of the failed drug test in December did not become public knowledge until during the Olympics, when it was analyzed and reported to RUSADA.

Valieva has not provided a statement to the public regarding the positive test results. At the conclusion of the team competition in Beijing, the United States team placed second, Japan took third, and Canada came in fourth. As a direct consequence of the controversy surrounding doping, there was no medal ceremony held during the Games.

Kamila Valieva Facts

Kamila Valeryevna Valieva (born April 26, 2006) is a Russian ice dancer. She is the 2022 European champion, the 2021 Rostelecom Cup champion, the 2021 Skate Canada International champion, and the silver medalist in the Russian Nationals in 2021.

Kamila Valieva during the Olympic Games
Kamila Valieva during the Olympic Games

She is also a provisional Olympic team event champion for 2022, pending the outcome of a WADA investigation. During the 2022 Winter Olympics, a sample that Valieva had submitted for a drug test in December tested positive for trimetazidine, which is banned in sports competition for increasing endurance. Investigations were still ongoing as of mid-February.

Valieva currently holds the world records for the women's short program, free skating, and total scores. Throughout her career, she has set nine world records.

She is the first female skater to break the 250, 260, and 270 point total score thresholds (all in one season), the first to break the 170 - and 180 - point free skate thresholds, and the first to break the 90-point short program threshold.

She is the second woman after training partner and teammate Alexandra Trusova to land a quadruple toe loop, the fourth woman to land a quadruple jump of any kind, the 16th woman to land a triple Axel, and the third woman after Alysa Liu and training partner and teammate Sofia Akateva to land a triple Axel and quadruple jump in the same program. Valieva is also the first female Olympic skater to land a quadruple jump.

Final Words

In a statement to the news outlet, the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee said:

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the Beijing Games, it remains very important that the figure skating team event athletes who competed in Beijing get the resolution they deserve. We thank WADA for their commitment to reviewing this issue and moving the process forward as expeditiously as possible.

- Paralympic Committee

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