International

Medals to be withheld from Russian figure skater until resolution of doping scandal

Associated Press

Kamila Valieva, the 15-year-old Russian figure skating star, will be permitted to compete at the Beijing Olympics, officials said on Monday, but medals will be withheld until her doping case is settled. 

“Should Ms Valieva finish amongst the top three competitors in the Women’s Single Skating competition, no flower ceremony and no medal ceremony will take place during the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022,” the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced.

The IOC also confirmed that the medal ceremony for the figure skating team event in which Valieva and her Russian Olympic Committee won gold would be postponed “as it 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.” 

The committee added that “dignified medal ceremonies” would be held once Valieva’s case was resolved.

The controversy comes after a trace amount of trimetazidine, a drug used for chest pain that increases blood flow to the heart, was reportedly detected in a sample from Valieva collected on Dec. 25 ahead of the Games.

On Sunday, a panel from the Court of Arbitration for Sport held a hearing regarding her case and was expected to make a decision about her eligibility to compete ahead of the women’s individual competition. 

Though the IOC had asked that the panel suspend her from the competition, the panel said it “considered fundamental principles of fairness, proportionality, irreparable harm and the balance of interests” before clearing her to compete, noting that she was a minor and did not test positive at the Games, according to The New York Times

Also on Sunday, the World Anti-Doping Agency announced that it will investigate Valieva’s coaches, doctors and any other adults around her in connection to the case.

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