Four-year ban for Kamila Valieva
Kamila Valieva was considered a frontrunner for the 2022 Olympic gold medal. However, the teen faced consequences in a case that significantly disrupted the Beijing Games and prevented other athletes from receiving their deserved medals.
On December 25, 2021, during the Russian championships, Valieva submitted a test sample containing trimetazidine. The drug is a heart medication typically prescribed to older patients but prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). This is due to its misuse by younger athletes for performance enhancement. Delays in the European lab’s analysis of the sample led to the positive result being revealed only on February 9, 2022. This was just two days after she contributed to the Russian Olympic Committee’s victory in the Olympic figure skating team event. The United States claimed second place, with Japan securing third.
Over the next two years, investigations, appeals, and reviews ensued with WADA, Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) (see Timeline below).
Finally, on Monday, a ruling by CAS imposed a four-year ban Russian figure skater for committing an anti-doping rule violation. As a result, Valieva, who was 15 years old at the time, has been barred from international competition until December 2025. All her victories achieved since December 2021 have been nullified. This includes the 2022 European Figure Skating Championships.
2022 Olympic team medals recalculated
As a result, her participation in the Women’s single competition at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games will be nullified, along with the dismissal of all individual results and points achieved in both the Short Program and the Free Skating competitions. The ISU posted the re-ranking of the 2022 Olympic Team event results as follows:
Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, Team event results:
- 1st United States of America
- 2nd Japan
- 3rd ROC
Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, Women’s single event results:
- Kamila Valieva (ROC) will be disqualified from her fourth-place ranking
On Tuesday, the Russian Figure Skating Federation (FFKR) released a statement “strongly disagreeing” with the decision “on the four-year disqualification of Kamila Valieva.”
“Kamila Valieva, who, being a protected person, was actually equated to an adult athlete, as well as the decision of the International Skating Union (ISU) to deprive Russian athletes of gold medals in the team figure skating competition at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.”
The statement went on to read that the “FFKR has not received any official documents and is waiting for an official notification from the ISU, on the basis of which such a decision was made.”
“For our part, we declare that the FFKR has taken and will continue to take all necessary measures to protect the rights and legitimate interests of our team and each athlete individually, including in court. The interests of our figure skaters have always been and remain the most important priority of the Federation.
We have been and remain with our athletes. We are confident in their purity and honesty. We express our full support to all members of the team who represented our country at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing and are rightfully the winners of the team figure skating tournament, and the figure skaters are Olympic champions.”
Skate Canada was “extremely disappointed” with the ISU’s position on the “long-awaited awarding of medals for the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games Figure Skating Team Competition.”
“The Court for Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that in addition to a four-year ban from competition, the ban includes ‘the disqualification [of] all competitive results’ achieved by Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva since the positive test,” read the statement. “The ISU in its recent decision is not applying Rule 353, which states that ‘competitors having finished the competition and who initially placed lower than the disqualified competitor will move up accordingly in their placement.’
Skate Canada is currently appealing the decision.
Meanwhile, US Figure Skating took to social media to congratulate the 2022 U.S. Olympic Team.
We are extremely proud of our 2022 Olympic champions – Nathan Chen, Vincent Zhou, Karen Chen, Alexa Knierim, Brandon Frazier, Madison Chock, Evan Bates, Madison Hubbell, Zachary Donohue – for their excellence on and off the ice. #MoreThanMedals pic.twitter.com/sysspfxjAT
— U.S. Figure Skating (@USFigureSkating) January 30, 2024
All parties have 30 days to appeal the decision.
- 2/08/2021: The Team Event medal ceremony was delayed because of a positive drug test within the Russian team that was taken in Dec. 25, 2021. The alleged is a minor. A minor cannot be accused of violating anti-doping rules. The drug in question is Trimetazidine — a substance which is banned on the WADA list.
- 2/11/2022: The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) states that they are in charge and that they will conduct the investigation. They claim that the Athlete has the right to train and take part in competitions in full without restrictions until the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decides otherwise regarding her status in relation to the Olympic Games.
- 2/11/2022: The International Testing Agency (ITA), on behalf of OIC, exercise their right to an appeal to CAS to have the suspension reinstated and not wait for the decision by the RUSADA due to the time issue. WADA and the ISU follow suit.
- 2/11/2022: CAS registers the applications filed by the IOC and WADA against the decision issued by the RUSADA Disciplinary Anti-Doping Committee
- 2/12/2022: CAS releases statement that the hearing will take place on Feb 13, 2022 at 20:30 (Beijing time)
- 2/13/2022: CAS releases statement that hearing has concluded – Media release to be published at 14:00 (Beijing time)
- 2/14/2022: CAS dismisses applications for appeal
- 2/14/2022: IOC releases statement regarding medal ceremonies for the Team and Women’s events
- 2/17/2022: The Ad Hoc Division of CAS publishes 41-page reasoned Arbitral Award
- 9/14/2022: TASS reports that RUSADA has completed their investigation
- 10/21/2022: Official statement by RUSADA
- 11/14/2022: CAS registers the Statement of Appeal filed by WADA and opened an arbitration procedure
- 1/13/2023: RUSDA tribunal renders decision that K.V. bore ‘no fault or negligence.’ WADA releases statement that they need to review the “full-reasoned decision.”
- 2/21/2023: WADA appeals case of Russian Olympic Committee figure skater, Kamila Valieva to Court of Arbitration for Sport
- 2/22/2023: ISU conducted a full review of the RUSADA decision; will file appeal with the CAS
- 2/24/2023: CAS registers the appeals filed by RUSADA, ISU and WADA
- 6/22/2023: CAS sets hearing dates in the arbitration proceedings involving RUSADA, ISU, WADA, and Kamila Valieva for Sep 26-29, 2023, at the CAS headquarters in Lausanne, SUI.
- 9/15/2023: The CAS hearing in the arbitration proceedings involving RUSADA, the ISU, WADA and Kamila Valieva will start on 26 September 2023
- 9/28/2023: Adjournment in the CAS hearing in the arbitration proceedings involving RUSADA, ISU, WADA and Ms Valieva
- 11/10/2023: The CAS hearing in the arbitration proceedings involving RUSADA, ISU, WADA and Kamila Valieva has concluded. The final decision is expected by the end of January 2024.
- 1/29/24: CAS issues decision: Kamila Valieva is found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation and sanctioned with a four-year period of ineligibility commencing on 25 December 2021
- 1/29/24: ISU releases statement on CAS decision
- 1/29/2024: WADA welcomes Court of Arbitration for Sport decision in case of Russian Olympic Committee figure skater