Kamila Valieva, the 15-year-old figure skating star, was cleared to skate in the women’s competition, which begins Tuesday. The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled on Monday that it would not reinstate a provisional suspension after an appeal from the International Olympic Committee, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Skating Union.
Valieva, who helped the ROC take home gold in the figure skating team event, was allowed to compete despite testing positive for the banned heart drug trimetazidine, which has stimulant properties and is normally used to treat angina.
At the center of the firestorm is a high schooler with fuzzy pink skate guards and her beloved Pomeranian puppy back home. During practice for the individual competition, she did a perfect run-through of her record-setting short program at the main rink, then returned for a second session at the nearby practice rink a few hours later.
Here’s how the saga has played out so far:
DEC. 25, 2021
• Sample taken by Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) at 2022 Russian Figure Skating Championships in Saint Petersburg.
• Valieva competes in the women’s single skating short program for the team event.
• Valieva competes in the women’s single skating free skating program for the team event. Valieva lands the hardest jump in figure skating, a quadruple jump — twice. The ROC wins gold in the team event.
• Medal ceremony for figure skating team event scheduled for Tuesday evening is postponed.
• The WADA-accredited laboratory in Stockholm reported that the sample had returned an adverse analytical finding (AAF) for the non-specified prohibited substance trimetazidine. Following this, Valieva was provisionally suspended by RUSADA.
• IOC, when asked at daily briefing why the medal ceremony for figure skating team event was postponed, says it is a legal matter and cannot comment.
• Valieva challenged the provisional suspension before the RUSADA Disciplinary Anti-Doping Committee on Feb. 9 and a hearing took place on the same day. That evening, the RUSADA Disciplinary Anti-Doping Committee decided to lift Valieva’s provisional suspension, thus allowing her to continue her participation in Beijing.
• The International Skating Union says it cannot disclose any information about any possible anti-doping rule violation.
• ITA issues a statement naming Valieva as the skater in question and releases timeline of test collection, notification of banned substance in test, suspension and suspension reversal.
• International Skating Union issues another statement that it will exercise the right to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport on the decision from RUSADA to lift Valieva’s suspension.
• Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov states official support for Valieva: “We boundlessly and fully support Kamila Valieva and call on everyone to support her. And we say to Kamila: Don’t hide your face. You are a Russian — perform and defeat everybody.”
• At IOC daily news conference, IOC spokesman Mark Adams tells ABC’s Alex Presha that he’s “certain as I can be” that a resolution will occur before the individual event on Feb 15.
• The Court of Arbitration for Sport issues statement on timeline of meeting and decision on Valieva.
• Valieva’s coach, Eteri Tutberidze, states “I want to say that I am absolutely sure that Kamila is innocent and clean.”
• The Court of Arbitration for Sport Panel has issued procedural directions to the parties including the holding of a videoconference hearing.
• The Court of Arbitration for Sport Panel rules not to suspend Valieva. In a media statement, it cited the lower sanctions for an athlete her age, noted that the delayed test result was “not her fault,” and stated that preventing her from competing in the Olympics would “cause her irreparable harm.”
• The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee issued a strongly worded statement opposing CAS’ decision. “We are disappointed by the message this decision sends,” the statement reads. “Athletes have a right to know they are competing on a level playing field. Unfortunately, today that right is being denied. This appears to be another chapter in the systemic and pervasive disregard for clean sport by Russia.”