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British lawyer Graham may represent Russia in figure skater Valieva’s case in CAS

Valieva was the youngest participant at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games at the age of 15

MOSCOW, December 6. /TASS/. Arthur Graham, who is a British independent lawyer and a member of the working and monitoring groups of the Council of Europe and UNESCO, is likely to represent Russia’s Olympic team figure skating champion Kamila Valieva in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), a source told TASS on Tuesday.

"Graham is likely to act as an attorney for RUSADA [the Russian Anti-Doping Agency] in Valieva’s case in CAS," the source said.

Graham is also on the classification committee of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and served previously on a number of occasions during RUSADA’s cases in CAS.

On November 14, the Swiss-based CAS registered an appeal from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which stated that Valieva allegedly violated anti-doping rules. The main reason behind WADA’s motion was that the global organization was tired of waiting for the Russian Anti-Doping Agency's (RUSADA) disciplinary committee to determine the Olympic champion's alleged guilt in the team event.

RUSADA Director General Veronika Loginova told TASS on September 14 that hearings in the case of Russia’s Olympic team figure skating champion Valieva were completed and the results of the case were submitted to the Disciplinary Anti-Doping Committee of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency.

In line with the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Charter, RUSADA is unable to make public the name of an underage athlete. RUSADA’s Disciplinary Committee is set to notify Valieva of the verdict in her case on the day of its announcement and all following statements in this regard should be made by the athlete herself or her official representatives.

Russian figure skating star Valieva was in the lead after the short program at the 2022 Olympics boasting 82.16 points on February 15, but she made a couple of mistakes during the free skate program on Thursday earning 141.93 points, which left her in 4th place with a final score of 224.09.

Valieva was the youngest participant at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games at the age of 15. The figure skater is trained by Russia’s renowned coach Eteri Tutberidze and she is the reigning European and Russian champion. She holds World Records in the ladies singles short program (90.45 points), free skate program (185.29 points) and overall program (272.71 points).

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 awards ceremony for 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 granted the following day. The previous decision on the provisional suspension was voided by the RUSADA Disciplinary Committee.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Skating Union (ISU) filed appeals against this decision but the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected them on February 14. The Russian skater was permitted to compete in the individual Olympic competition and finished fourth.