Why Was Kamila Valieva Allowed to Skate?

Why Was Kamila Valieva Allowed to Skate?

The highest court docket in sports activities launched the full 41-page report supporting its determination that barring Kamila Valieva, the 15-year-old star Russian skater who faces a possible disqualification for doping, from the Olympics would have risked inflicting her “irreparable hurt.”

The total particulars of the choice by the emergency three-person panel from the Courtroom of Arbitration for Sport had been printed just a few hours after Valieva’s beautiful downfall within the ladies’s determine skating free skate competitors on Thursday. The Worldwide Olympic Committee; the Worldwide Skating Union, the game’s governing physique; and the World Anti-Doping Company had filed an enchantment with the court docket in search of her suspension.

Valieva led the Russian crew to victory within the crew determine skating occasion on Feb. 7 earlier than officers confirmed that she had examined constructive for a banned substance on the Russian championships in December. That revelation has since convulsed the Beijing Olympics in a doping disaster and has turned Valieva right into a lightning rod for the Video games’ greatest scandal.

In its report, the court docket panel mentioned it had determined that Valieva might proceed skating on the Olympics as a result of she was to not blame for the delay in offering a conclusive outcome by the Stockholm laboratory that analyzed her pattern. That outcome got here simply hours earlier than Valieva took to the ice in Beijing for the primary time. The court docket’s attorneys additionally mentioned that as a result of Valieva is a minor, they’d thought-about the probability that she would possibly ultimately face solely a reprimand, quite than a suspension, if she was discovered responsible of a doping violation.

The panel’s commentary was scathing relating to the 44 days it had taken for the Stockholm laboratory to offer the outcomes, noting that Valieva had examined detrimental twice since then — on Jan. 13 and Feb. 7 — with these outcomes having arrived in a extra well timed method. The Swedish laboratory blamed the delays on staffing shortages associated to the coronavirus pandemic.

“None of that is the fault of the athlete, and it has put her in a remarkably troublesome place the place she faces a lifetime of labor being taken from her inside days of the most important occasion of her quick profession,” the panel wrote in its 41-page judgment.

Nonetheless, the panel’s determination was not a verdict on whether or not the banned drug trimetazidine, known as TMZ, had entered her system by mistake, as she contends, or was a part of a doping scheme.

The court docket’s report mentioned that Valieva had failed to offer proof to again up a declare by her mom, and her authorized crew, that the constructive take a look at may need been the results of contamination by sharing of dishes or consuming from the identical glass as her grandfather, who reportedly took TMZ after coronary heart substitute surgical procedure. The court docket panel, the report mentioned, was supplied with no proof of buy, medical information or prescriptions.

Earlier on Thursday, the president of the Russian Olympic Committee mentioned the nation would fight any effort to redistribute medals within the crew determine skating competitors, even when Valieva was ultimately disqualified for doping.

The case upended the determine skating occasion, with the I.O.C. scrapping the medal ceremony for the crew competitors and declaring that there wouldn’t be a podium ceremony for the ladies’s occasion ought to Valieva end in a medal place. By the point Valieva took the ice for the ultimate time, in a contest she was favored to win, the stress of the previous week appeared to have taken its toll.

She faltered badly, slipping to the ice a number of instances, in an error-strewn performance that ended along with her dissolving into tears and crashing right down to fourth place.

The court docket panel mentioned Valieva, in addition to the opposite athletes who had been affected by the case, had been the victims of a failed system.

“Put merely, athletes shouldn’t be topic to the danger of significant hurt occasioned by antidoping authorities’ failure to operate successfully at a excessive stage of efficiency and in a fashion designed to guard the integrity of the operation of the Video games,” the panel wrote.

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