WADA wants Russian Olympic skater Kamila Valieva to get 4-year suspension

Monday’s announcement by the Court of Arbitration for Sport that the World Anti-Doping Agency is seeking a four-year ban on Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva does not mean the months-long doping saga will soon be over.

“Unless the AMA expedites the case, which it certainly could do, it could take a while even though it’s a fairly straightforward case,” the CEO of the organization said. U.S. Anti-Doping Agency Travis Tygart at USA TODAY Sports Monday morning. “Under the normal CAS process, that could easily be the end of 2023. Since it seems the Russian strategy is to delay and avoid, if this continues at CAS, it could easily take another nine to 18 months. ”

Last week, Tygart proposed that athletes from the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics who still haven’t received their medals due to Russia’s excruciating delays in the Valieva case could finally be celebrated with a handover ceremony. medals at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, possibly at the opening ceremony.

Although only a suggestion, the idea was received very positively by several people within the international Olympic community, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the subjective and uncertain nature of the question.

Nine months ago, at the Beijing Games, Russia won gold, the United States silver and Japan bronze in the team figure skating competition. The following day, those results were upended when Valieva, the then 15-year-old Russian team star, turned out to have tested positive for the banned substance trimetazidine the previous December, forcing the unprecedented cancellation of the medal. of the event. ceremony.

There could be a medal reorganization if Valieva were to be disqualified by CAS, with the United States advancing to win the gold medal, followed by Japan and Canada, fourth in the competition.

But how the CAS panel will rule is anyone’s guess.

“It’s absolutely possible under the rules for it to be a four-year sanction, but it’s also possible under the rules for there to be no sanction or anything in between,” said Tygart. “Hopefully the case will be presented in an open and transparent manner to provide confidence in the final outcome, especially for the fans and teams who competed and await their medals.”

Another CAS panel that was convened at the Beijing Olympics allowed Valieva to continue to compete in women’s competition at the Games, citing that Valieva was a “protected person” (a minor in this case) under the rules. of WADA. This CAS decision did not address the merits of the doping case and in fact allowed her to compete in part due to the possibility that she would not be banned at a later date.

Skating under the weight of a full-fledged Olympic scandal, gold-medal favorite Valieva stumbled to a fourth-place finish.

Comments are closed.