Women’s figure skating opens its individual skating program on Tuesday at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, and there is already controversy.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport released a ruling early Monday morning that 15-year old ROC figure skater Kamila Valieva will not be provisionally suspended ahead of a full investigation into Russian doping allegations. The ruling was due in part because because she was a minor or “protected person” and was subject to different rules from an adult athlete, per CBC. The panel also cited “fundamental issues of fairness in its decision, the fact that she tested clean in Beijing and that there were ‘serious issues of untimely notification’ of her positive test.”
Valieva tested positive for trimetazidine, a banned heart medication that increases endurance and blood flow efficiency. The positive test came from a December 25th drug test at the Russian Nationals. The results did not come to light until last week after ROC had won the team figure skating gold. There has not been a formal explanation for the delay from the Swedish lab.
An investigation continues into broader doping issues, which comes amidst a previous punishment for doping that resulted in Russian athletes competing as “the ROC.” The gold medal team could still be stripped of their medals. Additionally, while Valieva will be allowed to compete in the women’s individual program, if she claims a medal position, there will be no flower ceremony or medal ceremony. Considering she’s among the favorites to take home gold, this will be something to track the next two days.