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Russian figure skater Valieva cleared to skate in ladies’ singles at 2022 Olympics

The short program is scheduled for February 15

BEIJING, February 14. /TASS/. 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 court's press office said in a statement on Monday.

Valieva is now allowed to skate in ladies’ singles competitions at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in China. The short program is scheduled for February 15 and the free skate program will take place on February 17.

"On the basis of the very limited facts of this case, and after consideration of the relevant legal issues, it has determined that no provisional suspension should be imposed on the Athlete [Valieva]…," the statement from the CAS reads. "The Athlete is a "Protected Person" under the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC)."

"The Panel considered fundamental principles of fairness, proportionality, irreparable harm, and the relative balance of interests as between the Applicants and the Athlete, who did not test positive during the Olympic Games in Beijing and is still subject to a disciplinary procedure on the merits following the positive anti-doping test undertaken in December 2021; in particular, the Panel considered that preventing the Athlete from competing at the Olympic Games would cause her irreparable harm in these circumstances," according to the statement.

The International Testing Agency announced on February 11 that Valieva’s doping sample, collected on December 25, 2022 during the Russian Figure Skating Championships in St. Petersburg, returned a positive result for a banned substance. 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.

"The CAS Panel also emphasized that there were serious issues of untimely notification of the results of the Athlete’s anti-doping test that was performed in December 2021 which impinged upon the Athlete’s ability to establish certain legal requirements for her benefit, while such late notification was not her fault, in the middle of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022," according to the Swiss-based court.

"In conclusion, the Panel determined that permitting the provisional suspension to remain lifted was appropriate," the statement added.

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

ROC at 2022 Olympics Figure Skating Team competition

ROC (the Russian Olympic Committee) figure skaters clinched the gold in the team competition at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing on February 7. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) later cancelled the medals awarding ceremony in Beijing for the figure skating team competition’s winners citing legal obstacles, which had to be settled with the International Skating Union (ISU).

Valieva scored 178.92 points, taking the top prize in the women’s free skate event, which closed the team competition. Team ROC ended the figure skating team competition with a total of 74 points to clinch the gold.

ROC’s Mark Kondratyuk represented the team in the men’s singles, and Valieva in the women’s singles. Anastasia Mishina and Alexander Galliamov skated in the pairs’ competitions and Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov in ice dancing.

Valieva won the short and free skating events. Kondratyuk came in third in the short event and second in the free event. Mishina and Galliamov won in the free skating and were runners-up in the short event. Sinitsina and Katsalapov finished second in both events.

Team USA took home the silver with judges awarding them an aggregate of 65 points, only two points ahead of the bronze medal winners from Japan (63 points).

The 2022 Winter Olympic Games in the Chinese capital of Beijing are being held between February 4 and 20. During the 128th IOC session in Kuala Lumpur on July 31, 2015, Beijing was chosen to host the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games making the Chinese capital the first city ever to host both the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games (in 2008) as well as the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games (in 2022).