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IOC to appeal lifting of Kamila Valieva's provisional suspension over positive test

IOC to appeal lifting of Kamila Valieva's provisional suspension over positive test
Posted at 10:35 PM, Feb 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-11 00:50:46-05

The IOC is appealing the lifting of a provisional suspension given to ROC figure skater Kamila Valieva on Feb. 8 by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency after Valieva was found to have tested positive for a banned substance, per a statement released Thursday by the International Testing Agency.

The ITA disclosed that Valieva was provisionally suspended by RUSADA on Feb. 8 -- following the conclusion of the figure skating team event at the 2022 Winter Olympics -- after the WADA-accredited lab in Stockholm determined she had tested positive for the banned substance Trimetazidine in a sample taken on Dec. 25, during the 2022 Russian Figure Skating Championships.

However, Valieva's provisional suspension was lifted by RUSADA on the evening of Feb. 9 following a challenge by the athlete, per the ITA, allowing her continued participation in the 2022 Winter Olympics. RUSADA has not yet provided grounds for the lifting of the provisional suspension.

The IOC is appealing RUSADA's decision to lift the suspension, per the ITA, seeking a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport before the women's individual figure skating event at the Winter Olympics is scheduled to begin on Feb. 15. The ruling will determine Valieva's eligibility to continue competing at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Also tied to the IOC's appeal is the awarding of medals in the figure skating team event. The ROC finished first in the event, buoyed by Valieva's performances in the women's short program and women's free skate, in which she earned the top score from judges for each skate. The United States finished second, followed by Japan in third and Canada in fourth.

The medal ceremony for the team event has been delayed indefinitely following the discovery of Valieva's failed test and provisional suspension.

Because the 15-year-old Valieva is a minor, she's considered a "Protected Person" under the World Anti-Doping Code, and thus her name and positive test were not subject to mandatory public disclosure. The ITA decided to disclose the details of the case on Thursday following multiple reports of Valieva's positive test, which was confirmed by NBC Olympics in an on-air report from Mike Tirico on Wednesday.

Athletes from Russia are competing in Beijing as representatives of the Russian Olympic Committee, since Russia -- the country -- is officially banned from the Olympics until this coming December, stemming from the revelation that it had run a state-sponsored doping program in 2014.

Valieva is scheduled to compete in the women's singles competition beginning with the short program on Tuesday, Feb. 15, at 5:00 a.m. ET, followed by the free skate on Thursday, Feb. 17, at 5:00 a.m. ET.