Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva has faced a suspension from the sport until 2025 following her involvement in an anti-doping rule violation, as announced by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Monday.
Valieva, who clinched a gold medal with the Russian Olympic Committee in the team event at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, will have her awards earned since late 2021 stripped.
The doping violation arose from Valieva testing positive for the banned substance trimetazidine. Despite the positive test, the Court of Arbitration for Sport permitted her to compete in the Beijing Games while it investigated, citing Valieva’s minor status as a factor necessitating different rules for her.
Although Valieva contributed to Russia’s victory in the team figure skating competition, they were not officially awarded a gold medal during the podium ceremony. The International Olympic Committee had clarified that there would be no medal ceremony if Valieva were placed.
In the wake of Valieva’s suspension, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee received confirmation from the IOC that Team USA would be retroactively awarded the gold medal for the team figure skating event in Beijing.
The U.S. committee expressed its anticipation for the day when it could wholeheartedly celebrate the achievements of its athletes, emphasizing their commitment to clean competition.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport imposed a four-year ban on Valieva, effective from December 2021, when she underwent the drug test.
Valieva had initially claimed that the medication, trimetazidine, belonged to her grandfather, and she accidentally ingested it due to a mix-up. However, the court’s investigation revealed on Monday that Valieva failed to prove that she did not intentionally take the prohibited substance.
As part of the four-year suspension, all competitive results achieved by Valieva from December 25, 2021, onward will be nullified, and she will forfeit titles, awards, medals, profits, prizes, and appearance money.
The court’s decision marks the conclusion of a significant chapter in Valieva’s career, highlighting the repercussions of anti-doping violations and reinforcing the commitment to maintaining the integrity of competitive sports.