Feb 18, 2022 - Sports

Court releases full decision in Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva's appeal

Kamila Valieva. Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images

The top court in sports published a 41-page report on Thursday detailing why it allowed Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva to continue competing at the Beijing Winter Olympics and why banning her would cause her "irreparable harm."

Why it matters: Valieva was cleared to compete in Thursday's individual figure skating competition by a panel of arbitrators, despite having trimetazidine, a banned drug, in her system during the Russian national championships in December.

  • The Court of Arbitration for Sport's decision was widely criticized by groups including the World Anti-Doping Agency which, along with the International Olympic Committee and other groups, appealed to CAS to overturn the Russian Anti-Doping Agency's decision not to suspend Valieva for her Dec. 25 positive drug test.

Driving the news: The CAS report, which came out hours after Valieva had a disastrous long program and finished off the podium, criticized the laboratory for a delayed result and noted that the 15-year-old had tested negative twice since December.

  • The Stockholm laboratory blamed the delay on Valieva's test on staffing shortages related to the pandemic, per the New York Times.

Yes, but: CAS' report did not clear Valieva. The court noted that she "failed to provide evidence" that her positive drug test was due to her grandfather's heart medication, as she had claimed.

  • The panel did not receive proof of purchase, medical records or prescriptions from Valieva, according to the report.

What they're saying: "None of this is the fault of the athlete, and it has put her in a remarkably difficult position where she faces a lifetime of work being taken from her within days of the biggest event of her short career," the panel wrote.

  • "Put simply, athletes should not be subject to the risk of serious harm occasioned by antidoping authorities’ failure to function effectively at a high level of performance and in a manner designed to protect the integrity of the operation of the Games," it added.

Read the report, via DocumentCloud:

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

Go deeper