Winter Olympics: Kamila Valieva to learn Cas decision over ban appeal

Kamila Valieva has been training in Beijing while she awaits to find out if she can compete
hosts: Beijing, China date: 4-20 February
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Kamila Valieva will find out on Monday if she can compete again at this Winter Olympics when the outcome of a legal hearing about the 15-year-old figure skater’s failed drugs test is revealed.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) has concluded its hearing and will deliberate before a final decision that is expected at 06:00 GMT.

The Russian arrived at Beijing 2022 as favorite for gold but has been embroiled in a doping case that has sparked outrage that a child is involved and overshadowed the Games.

She had been provisionally suspended on 8 February after the revelation that she had tested positive for angina drug trimetazidine but challenged the decision and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) lifted the ban the following day.

But the International Olympic Committee (IOC), International Skating Union and World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) launched an appeal with Cas against Rusada’s decision.

Valieva is due to compete in the women’s competition that begins on Tuesday, which meant a swift resolution of the matter was a priority.

The near six-hour long Cas hearing concluded at 02:10 local time in Beijing, which is eight hours ahead of GMT.

“Now the panel will deliberate,” Cas secretary general Matthieu Reeb told reporters.

“We hope to be able to announce a final decision at around one, two or three pm tomorrow afternoon.

“I cannot comment on anything at the hearing but I hope to give you a decision in a few hours.”

Valieva, who has been practicing at the rink while under the global spotlight, has already helped her Russian Olympic Committee to victory in the team event, although the medals for that have yet to be awarded because of the legal issues.

The IOC said on Monday that the medals would “probably not” be awarded during the Games, regardless of the decision about the doping test of Valieva.

The United States won silver with Japan taking bronze and Canada in fourth position.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said Cas would only rule on whether Valieva “can compete or not” and a decision on the medals for the team competition “will not come in the next hours or days”.

He added: “It’s regrettable but we have to follow the process of Cas and the legal process.

“It’s a dilemma we are all in and it’s something we’re not happy with.”

While Monday’s verdict will resolve Valieva’s immediate Olympic future, the matter will be far from over with Wada saying it was going to investigate the youngster’s entourage, which it said included coaches, doctors and other adults surrounding her.

There will also be questions to be asked about why it took almost six weeks from the time the sample was collected on 25 December for a positive test to be made public – during which time Valieva won the European title.

There will also be wider debates given a Russian has tested positive for a banned substance when the country is already banned from international competition because of its doping past.

Its 212-strong delegation in Beijing is competing under the Russian Olympic Committee flag and without its national anthem as part of the sanctions.

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