Skater Disqualified from 2022 Olympics

( – Kamila Valieva, a Russian figure skater, was retroactively disqualified from the 2022 Olympics on Monday, January 29, nearly two years after her doping scandal at said Olympics in Beijing and has been banned from them until 2025. The Court of Arbitration for Sport’s ruling implies that Russia is likely to lose the Olympic title, and the gold medals will not go to Russia. They will go to the American skaters instead, who were initially in second place.

Valieva, a 15-year-old star and prodigy in Russia, tested positive for a forbidden heart medicine shortly after her performance.

The legal turmoil first happened because Valieva’s sample, taken six weeks before at the Russian championships, was only flagged as a positive test on Febuary 7, 2022, due to short staffing at a Swedish laboratory because of the pandemic.

The International Skating Union welcomed the ruling. Valieva’s legal team is reviewing the decision for a potential appeal to the Swiss supreme court, arguing contamination by a medication given to her by her grandfather.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport stated that Valieva failed to prove the absence of intentional doping, rejecting her claim of being contaminated. The court emphasized that, as per Russian anti-doping rules, being a minor during the positive test did not warrant special treatment.

Despite prior clearance allowing Valieva to continue skating at the Olympics, her performance in the event suffered because of the intense investigation, resulting in errors and a drop to fourth place. The controversy escalated with criticisms directed at her coach and IOC president Thomas Bach. Bach then placed the blame on those administering the drug to her.

The World Anti-Doping Agency and the Russian anti-doping body were expected to investigate her team following anti-doping rules for athletes aged 16 or younger. However, no findings have been published, and there is no indication of additional anti-doping charges in the case.

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