Russia’s Kamila Valieva Cleared to Skate After Doping Hearing, but IOC Will Not Hold Ceremonies If she Wins Medal

Creator: EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA | Credit: REUTERS

The International Olympic Committee, looking to contain the potential damage from the ongoing story of Russian skater Kamila Valieva, has ruled that if Valieva wins a medal in the women’s single skating competition this week, no medal ceremonies will be held during the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing.

The IOC also announced that it will not hold a medal ceremony during the Games for the team skate competition which Russia, led by Valieva, won last week.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has ruled that Valieva is permitted to participate in the competition despite the fact that she tested positive for the banned substance trimetazidine in a sample taken on Dec. 25, 2021. The CAS indicated that its decision was procedural rather than judgmental, and offered no opinion on whether Valieva violated anti-doping rules. The CAS cited several factors for its decision, most notably that the 15-year-old Valieva is a “protected person,” which essentially means she’s too young to fully understand what substances she might be taking.

The IOC has no choice but to permit her to skate. However, the IOC does have the power to restrict celebration of her achievement, and that is the route the commission is taking now.

“In the interest of fairness to all athletes and the (nations) concerned, it would not be appropriate to hold the medal ceremony for the figure skating team event during the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022,” the IOC said in a statement, “as it would include an athlete who on the one hand has a positive A-sample, but whose violation of the anti-doping rules has not yet been established on the other hand.”

As a result, the IOC noted, if Valieva finishes in one of the top three positions in Thursday night’s individual competition, “no flower ceremony and no medal ceremony will take place during the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.”

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SOURCE: Yahoo! Sports, Jay Busbee