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RUSADA responsible for delayed result in Valieva’s doping sample — WADA

On February 14, the CAS turned down an appeal filed by the IOC, the WADA and the ISU against the decision of the RUSADA to lift a temporary suspension of Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva

MOSCOW, February 18. /TASS/. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) is responsible for the delayed result of a doping sample, collected from Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva, as it did not mark it as a priority, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said in a statement on Friday.

"In relation to the delay between the sample being collected and the anti-doping laboratory in Stockholm reporting the positive test result, as stated on 14 February, WADA reiterates that it is the clear responsibility of the Anti-Doping Organization that initiated the test, in this case RUSADA, to communicate effectively with the laboratory to ensure the timely analysis of samples, especially in the lead-up to a major event," the statement reads.

"Unfortunately, RUSADA did not flag the high-priority nature of the sample despite being informed by the laboratory of delays being caused by a COVID-19 outbreak among its staff," according to WADA.

RUSADA said in a statement on February 14 that Russian figure skater Valieva’s doping samples were delivered to the Stockholm laboratory in due time so that analysis could be carried out within standard time limits.

The global anti-doping body also said in its statement that the reasoning part of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in regard to Valieva’s case, issued on Thursday, violates "the criteria for lifting a mandatory provisional suspension."

"The reasoned award confirms that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) Panel decided to ignore the clear and unambiguous terms of the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code (Code) regarding the criteria for lifting a mandatory provisional suspension," the statement says.

"In effect, by making this award, the CAS Panel has re-written the Code to say that mandatory provisional suspensions for ‘protected persons’ shall now be considered as optional provisional suspensions," according to WADA. "This is not what the Code says, not what the Code drafters intended and was never proposed by any of WADA’s stakeholders during the three rounds of Code consultation."

"This re-writing of the Code, which would apparently allow ‘protected persons’ to continue competing after testing positive for non-specified substances without any clarification of the circumstances, risks undermining the integrity of sporting competition and the confidence of athletes that they are competing on a level playing field," the statement from WADA added.

Valieva’s suspected doping case

On February 14, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) turned down an appeal filed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Skating Union (ISU) against the decision of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) to lift a temporary suspension of Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva.

The International Testing Agency announced on February 11 that Valieva’s doping sample, collected on December 25, 2021, during the Russian Figure Skating Championships in St. Petersburg, returned a positive result for a banned substance, trimetazidine. This triggered the postponement of the awarding ceremony of the 2022 Olympic team competition, won by Russia.

RUSADA imposed a provisional suspension on Valieva on February 8, but the Russian athlete submitted an appeal and it was satisfied the following day. The previous decision on the provisional suspension was cancelled by the RUSADA Disciplinary Committee.

However, the ISU, IOC and WADA filed their appeals later with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in order to overturn the previous decision of the RUSADA Disciplinary Committee.

USA Today daily reported on February 16 citing IOC (the International Olympic Committee) member Denis Oswald as saying that trimetazidine entered her body system through a medication prescribed for her grandfather.