Updated Feb 15, 2022 - Sports

Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva blames medication mix-up for failed drug test

 Russia's Kamila Valieva attends a training session on February 14, 2022 prior the figure skating event at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva attends a training session at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics on Monday. Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP via Getty Images

Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva claimed she tested positive for a banned substance due to a "mix-up with her grandfather's heart medication," an Olympic official said Tuesday.

Driving the news: International Olympic Committee permanent chair Denis Oswald said during a news conference the 15-year-old's defense to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) before it ruled she could continue to compete at the Beijing Winter Games "was this contamination happened with a product her grandfather was taking."

The big picture: The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the IOC and other groups appealed to CAS against the Russian Anti-Doping Agency's decision to lift Valieva's suspension for testing positive for the heart drug trimetazidine at the Russian national championships on Dec. 25.

  • The CAS panel ruled that banning Valieva from the Beijing Olympics would cause her "irreparable harm," noting there were "exceptional circumstances" in her case and that she's a minor and, therefore, a "protected person."
  • No medals will be handed out for anyone yet for events in which she finishes in the top 3, including the women's single event and last week's Russian Olympic Committee win over the U.S. in the team figure skating competition.

Worth noting: Journalists at Tuesday's news conference questioned the precedent the CAS panel's ruling set, given Russia's extensive history of doping.

What's next: WADA will decide on the outcome of the Beijing Olympics medals Valieva has been involved in at a date yet to be announced publicly.

Go deeper: Sha’Carri Richardson: Kamila Valieva doping case is a double standard

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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