WADA, IOC to appeal lifting of Valieva ban

Beijing, Feb 11 (EFE).- The World Anti-Doping Agency will join the International Olympic Committee in appealing a decision by the Russian doping agency (RUSADA) to lift a ban against figure skater Kamila Valieva.

The 15-year-old skating prodigy tested positive for a banned substance during a test taken in December, but the results only came out after the Beijing Olympics had already kicked off.

Valieva wowed the figure skating world by becoming the first woman to complete a quadruple jump at an Olympics as she led the Russian Olympic Committee’s team to gold in the team event on Monday. The medal ceremony for that event has been delayed indefinitely pending the results of the appeals.

“WADA wishes to confirm that it intends to lodge an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in relation to the anti-doping case involving a Russian Olympic Committee figure skater who tested positive for a prohibited substance at an event prior to the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing,” the body said in a statement.

The appeal will be based, WADA said, “on the grounds that the Code has not been correctly applied in this case.”

The substance found in her sample was trimetazidine, a drug prescribed to treat angina pectoris, which is on the list of banned substances.

The Stockholm laboratory that performed the analysis communicated the positive test to the various parties on Tuesday, one day after the Russian team won gold in the team competition.

As a result, Valieva was provisionally suspended by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) “with immediate effect,” which prevented her from continuing to participate in Beijing 2022.

The skater appealed the decision on February 9 and RUSADA’s disciplinary committee accepted the appeal, allowing Valíeva to resume competing in the Games.

The skater resumed training on Thursday.

The IOC will also appeal the lifting of the sanction, adding that it will not await RUSADA’s ruling “because a decision is needed before the next competition in which the athlete is supposed to participate,” the women’s competition on February 15.

Behind Russia, teams from the United States and Japan took to the podium. Canada, who finished fourth, would take bronze if the Russian team’s scores were canceled. EFE


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