The high-profile doping case involving Russian skater Kamila Valeeva begins Tuesday at the International Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne. Three days have been allocated for the hearings, and a fourth day will be added if necessary.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport will be tasked with determining the final punishment for Valeeva, who was allowed to continue at the Winter Olympics in Beijing nineteen months ago at the age of 15 despite a positive doping test.
Valeeva tested positive for the banned substance trimetazidine in December 2021 during the Russian national championship, but the result was only announced on February 8, 2022, one day after she won international competition with the Russian national team at the Beijing Olympics. After an emergency hearing by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, she was also allowed to compete in the individual tournament in Beijing, pending an investigation. When she was 15 years old, she had protected status according to the Court of Sport. Nerves got the better of the favorite and he ended up in fourth place. She made history in Beijing by becoming the first woman to complete a quadruple jump.
The Disciplinary Committee of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) reached a decision in the doping case months later. Valeeva committed a crime for which she was not responsible for “any fault or negligence,” and for this reason she was not punished. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the International Ski Union (ISU) and Rosada itself are now challenging that ruling with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Dissatisfaction in the United States
The hearings are being held behind closed doors, much to the dismay of the American team that won the silver medal at the Olympics in China. “An open and transparent hearing will help the athletes understand the decision,” said Vincent Chu, one of the snowboarders on the US team. “Transparency will build confidence in a global anti-doping system that has lost the trust of its most important stakeholders: athletes.”
Valieva is not physically present in Lausanne. You will testify via video link. The Court of Arbitration for Sport is not expected to issue a final ruling for several months.
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