Kamila Valiyeva figure skating doping case begins in sports court.
Kamila Valiyeva figure skating doping case begins in sports court
The doping case involving teenage Russian figure skater Kamila Valiyeva has returned to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The highest court in sports has started a closed-door hearing that is expected to last at least three days. Valiyeva, who was 15 at the time of the Olympics and is now 17, is set to testify via video link from Russia. The outcome of the case will also impact nine American skaters who could potentially be awarded the Olympic gold medal in the team event if Valiyeva’s results are disqualified.
Contamination defense and legal challenges
Valiyeva’s defense argues that her positive test for a banned heart medication was the result of accidental contamination, possibly from a glass or plate that her grandfather used. The first Russian anti-doping tribunal during the Olympics stated that Valiyeva and her legal team planned to conduct further investigations and present the results in future hearings. However, the appeal hearing has only started now, more than 19 months after an initial CAS panel allowed Valiyeva to continue skating in Beijing despite the failed doping test.
Challenges by WADA, ISU, and the Russian anti-doping agency
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Skating Union (ISU) have brought the appeal hearing to challenge a Russian ruling that deemed Valiyeva, as an underage minor at the time, not at fault and allowed her to keep her Olympic results. WADA is seeking a four-year ban for Valiyeva, while the ISU wants a ban of at least two years. The Russian anti-doping agency also joined the appeal and suggested a reprimand would be sufficient. Valiyeva’s legal team will argue that CAS has no jurisdiction, or alternatively, that she was not at fault and should receive only a reprimand.
The outcome of the case is eagerly awaited, as it will have significant implications for Valiyeva, the American skaters, and the international figure skating community. The three CAS judges, representing Australia, the United States, and France, have the responsibility of making a fair and just decision based on the facts presented.