Teen skating prodigy Kamila Valieva has been handed a lengthy four-year ban from figure skating after her doping finding was upheld following the scandal in the 2022 Winter Olympics. The biggest story to come out of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games was the doping scandal around Russian gold medalist Valieva.
The teen prodigy helped Russia to a team gold after becoming the first female to land the quadruple jump in history. However, there was no medal ceremony when the then 15-year-old shockingly failed a doping test.
Russia are now set to be stripped of the gold medal. With plenty of unknown's surrounding Valieva's failed doping test, the 15-year-old was allowed to skate in the individual competition. The Russian was clearly impacted after the international scrutiny and fell a number of times during her routine.
Expected to win gold, Valieva emerged form the ice in tears and her coach Eteri Tutberidze was criticised for her tough reaction towards the 15-year-old. This even prompted Olympic president Thomas Bach to call out the behaviour when he admitted he was "very disturbed" by the scenes.
“I was very disturbed when I watched it on TV,” Bach said. “When I saw how she was received by the closest entourage with such a tremendous coolness, it was chilling to see this.” Since then, the Court of Sport Arbitration has upheld a World Anti Doping Agency finding and has handed down a four-year ban to Valieva.
"Having carefully considered all the evidence put before it, the CAS Panel concluded that Ms Valieva was not able to establish, on the balance of probabilities and on the basis of the evidence before the Panel, that she had not committed the ADRV intentionally (within the meaning of the Russian ADR)," the statement read. The agency confirmed it doesn't have the ability to strip Russia of their team gold from Beijing.
“A period of four years ineligibility is imposed on Ms Valieva, starting on 25 December 2021," the statement continued. “All competitive results of Ms Valieva from 25 December 2021 are disqualified, with all the resulting consequences (including forfeiture of any titles, awards, medals, profits, prizes, and appearance money)."
WADA slam scandal surrounding Kamila Valieva
The World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) welcomed the finding. “The doping of children is unforgivable,” WADA said in a statement. WADA called for future action under its code against doctors, coaches and other support personnel who are found to have provided performance-enhancing substances to minors.
“WADA encourages governments to consider passing legislation — as some have done already — making the doping of minors a criminal offense,” it said. Despite the finding, the Kremlin labelled the move a “politicised” decision.
Olympic president hits out at Kamila Valieva moment
During the Olympics, Bach said seeing the distraught skater break down on the ice in front of a worldwide TV audience confirmed his fears about how Russia's young stars had been treated. “I was pondering about whether you can be really so cold but when I saw and read today how Alexandra Trusova was being treated, I am afraid that this impression I had last night was not the wrong one," he said.
“All of this does not give me much confidence in this close entourage of Kamila.” CAS ruled during the Games that Valieva could continue to skate in the Olympics, citing “exceptional circumstances” and the "irreparable harm” it would cause if the teen was banned.
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