Kamila Valieva's positive drug test blamed on grandpa's medicine

Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva’s lawyers say that the athlete’s failed doping test was due to contamination from medication prescribed to her grandfather.

The argument was made as part of the 15-year-old skater’s defence before the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Sunday, according to International Olympic Committee member Denis Oswald.

Per Oswald, Valieva’s representatives “presented elements that brought some doubts about her guilt.” Oswald was involved in the investigations into the doping scandals of the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Kamila Valieva has been the subject of the biggest controversy of the 2022 Beijing Olympics. (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)
Kamila Valieva has been the subject of the biggest controversy of the 2022 Beijing Olympics. (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)

On Feb. 8, it was revealed that Valieva had tested positive for Trimetazidine, a banned heart medication, in late December. The news came a day after she led the Russian figure skating team to a gold medal.

On Monday, the CAS ruled that Valieva can still compete in the coming women’s individual event despite testing positive for a banned substance. She is scheduled to participate in the women’s singles short program on Tuesday, and is a favourite for another podium finish.

The ruling sparked widespread debate across the sports world, with many criticizing the decision for being unjust. The Canadian Olympic Committee was one of the numerous organizations to voice its displeasure.

"The situation that has unfolded with respect to the Russian figure skating athlete’s doping case is extremely unfortunate and sad for the athletes," the COC said in a statement. "The COC is fully committed to clean sport and we firmly believe that no one involved in doping or other corrupt practices has a place in the Olympic movement."

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.

Valieva’s status as a minor and the delay in informing Russia about the positive test result are some of the reasons why the CAS has decided to allow her to continue her Olympic journey.

If she were to achieve another podium finish, however, no medals for the event will be handed out until the full investigation into the matter has been resolved, the IOC announced.

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