Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva, 15, has made her final bid to avoid becoming the youngest banned Olympian in history
Image: ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images)
Child skating star Kamila Valieva was yesterday making a last bid to avoid becoming the youngest athlete banned from an Olympics following her failed drug test.
Lawyers for the 15-year-old Russian prodigy were pleading her case to the International Court for the Arbitration of Sport, which is to decide her fate.
The hearing was called after it emerged Kamila had tested positive for banned heart drug trimetazidine on Christmas Day during national championships.
The test result did not emerge until last Tuesday when she was due to collect a gold medal for the Russia Olympic Committee figure skating team in the Beijing Games.
The medal ceremony had to be postponed pending the outcome of Kamila’s case.
Russian anti-doping agency Rusada, which was also giving evidence at the CAS hearing in the blizzard hit Chinese capital yesterday, lifted her automatic suspension for the positive test to allow her to compete in the individual event tomorrow.
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
That decision has been challenged by the International Olympic Committee, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Skating Association.
Under WADA rules, Kamila must prove she did not take the substance deliberately and that it was in a contaminated product.
Russian experts believe it could have been present in the low-quality medication.
Sports lawyer Artyom Patsev said: “It is not even a drug, it’s a heart supplement, and it provides no [beneficial] results.
“Theoretically, any medication, any biologically active supplement, even the most innocent amino acid complex, simply contaminated with trimetazidine, could have become a source.”
ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images)
The International Testing Agency confirmed it had taken 45 days to return the test result, due to staff at a lab in the Swedish capital Stockholm going down with Covid. WADA rules state that a test result must be returned within 20 days.
In 2018, a temporary suspension on Russian bobsleigh athlete Nadezhda Sergeeva at the Pyeongchang Olympics in South Korea was lifted by the CAS after it ruled trimetazidine found in a doping test could have come from a contaminated product.
Russian skater Gleb Smolkin said of Valieva: “She is a great skater and definitely has a great future.
“It doesn’t matter what happened or is going to happen.”