Beijing Olympics won't have any medal ceremonies involving Kamila Valieva

The Beijing Olympics won't have any medal ceremonies involving Russian teenager Kamila Valieva. (Getty)
The Beijing Olympics won't have any medal ceremonies involving Russian teenager Kamila Valieva. (Getty)

The International Olympic Committee has announced it will not hold medal ceremonies for any event that Kamila Valieva reaches the podium at the Beijing Olympic Games. The announcement comes just hours after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled the Russian figure skating star could continue competing despite a positive drug test.

Although Valieva can compete, a Russian Anti-Doping Agency-led investigation will determine whether she’s guilty of doping. Should the findings fall out of her favour, Valieva could have any medal from these Games stripped.

The 15-year-old phenom is part of the Russian Olympic Committee team that finished first in the team figure skating event – in which Canada came fourth and could move up to third with an ROC disqualification.

Valieva is also the favourite to win the women’s singles event on Tuesday and Thursday, where the ROC could sweep the podium.

In its explanation not to conduct medal ceremonies involving Valieva, the IOC said it made its decision “in the interest of all athletes the NOCs concerned,” and came to the verdict because “(the ceremony) would include an athlete who on the one hand has a positive A-sample, but whose violation of the anti-doping rules has not yet been established on the other hand.”

The Olympic governing body also stated that the pool of skaters who advance from the short program to the free skate would increase from 24 to 25 should Valieva finish in the Top 24, which is likely.

The teenager tested positive for trimetazidine – a drug used to treat heart conditions – at the Russian national competition on Dec. 25, but the results from a Swedish lab didn’t come in until last week.

In its decision, the CAS cited that Valieva, as a minor, is a “protected person” under the World Anti-Doping Code.

The court also said it considered the “fundamental principles of fairness, proportionality, irreparable harm, and the relative balance of interests as between the applicants and the athlete,” noting that Valieva had not tested positive during the Games, but in December of 2021.

“The Panel considered that preventing the athlete from competing at the Olympic Games would cause her irreparable harm in these circumstances,” the release read.

Lastly, the court stated that the “untimely” notification of the test results – which was not Valieva’s fault – prevented her from establishing “certain legal requirements for her benefit.”

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