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Sports court opens case on Russian skater Valieva

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said Monday it has taken up the case against Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva over her alleged use of a banned substance before the Beijing 2022 Winter Games.

CAS acted on an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) which accused the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) of delaying a ruling in its Valieva investigation.

“The CAS arbitration proceedings have commenced,” the international tribunal based in the Swiss city of Lausanne said in a statement about Valieva.

At the Winter Games in February, Valieva, then 15, became the first female skater to land a quadruple jump in Olympic competition, helping the Russian team secure gold in the team event.

It later emerged she had tested positive before the Games for trimetazidine, a drug used to treat angina but which is banned for athletes because it can boost endurance.

The urine sample was taken from Valieva on December 25 at the 2021 Russian National Figure Skating Championships.

RUSADA opened an investigation into Valieva, but WADA appealed referring it to CAS “as no decision was issued by RUSADA within the time limit set by WADA”, the Lausanne court said.

Last month, WADA warned RUSADA to speed up its investigation into Valieva.

RUSADA had said it would not reveal either the date of Valieva’s hearing or the verdict, adding it had made the decision to “protect the interests” of the 16-year-old, who is a “protected person”.

WADA is seeking a ruling from CAS that Valieva committed an anti-doping violation.

It also wants a four-year ban imposed, plus the disqualification of all her results obtained from December 25, 2021 onwards, including the forfeiture of medals and prizes, said CAS.

A three-member panel of arbitrators “will decide the matter”, it said.

One will be nominated by WADA, RUSADA and Valieva will jointly nominate the second, and the third, who will preside over the panel, will be appointed by the head of the CAS appeals division.

The panel will then issue directions on holding a hearing, following which the panel will deliberate, then issue a decision. No timeframe has been set.

“The CAS panel’s decision will be final and binding,” the court said, though the parties have the right to appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal within 30 days on very narrow procedural grounds.

The International Olympic Committee decided not to award any medals for the Beijing 2022 team event until Valieva’s doping case has been resolved.

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