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Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva cleared to compete at Olympics despite positive drug test

Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva has been cleared to compete in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics by the Court of Arbitration for Sport despite testing positive for a banned substance. The sample was taken in December 2021.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport gave her a favorable decision Monday in part because she is a minor and considered a “protected person,” and is subject to different rules from an adult athlete.

Lawyers for Valieva also “brought some doubts about her guilt,” veteran IOC member Denis Oswald said Tuesday, with their possible explanation of accidental rather than deliberate doping with the heart medication trimetazidine.

“Her argument was this contamination which happened with a product her grandfather was taking,” Oswald, a Swiss lawyer who prosecuted previous Russian doping cases, told reporters.

Valieva, who practiced in both of her allotted sessions Monday, told Russian state broadcaster Channel One in comments shown that night: “These days have been very difficult for me. I’m happy but I’m tired emotionally.”

There won’t be a medal ceremony if Valieva finishes in the top three because the International Olympic Committee is concerned that she could still be banned after a full investigation of her doping case. The three-member court ruled only on whether she could skate at the Olympics and did not consider the full merits of the case.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport already had said Valieva testified during its lengthy hearing, which ended at about 3 a.m. Monday. Valieva said she watched the entire hearing by video link from the Olympic Village.

“I sat there for seven hours, we had one 20-minute break, and I sat there and watched. It was very difficult, but it is apparently one of the moments, of the phases, that I have to go through,” Valieva said, adding that the entire process had taught her that adult life “can be unfair to some extent.”

The decision not to award medals also affects Nathan Chen and the rest of the second-place American team, who will leave Beijing unsure if they won silver or gold. It would be Chen’s second gold of the Games. If Valieva and Russia are disqualified, Japan moves up to silver and Canada wins bronze.

“We are devastated that they will leave Beijing without their medals in hand, but we appreciate the intention of the IOC to ensure the right medals are awarded to the right individuals,” the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee said in a statement.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: CBC NEWS

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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