A three-arbitrator panel of sport’s highest court ruled Monday that Kamila Valieva, the Russian teenage Olympian whose positive doping test upended the figure skating competition at the 2022 Beijing Winter Games, had imposed a suspension on her. four years.
The sanction, announced by a three-member panel empowered by the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport, will be retroactive to December 25, 2021. This is the date Valieva, who was 15 at the time, provided a sample contaminated at a competition just a few months before the Olympic Games. The ban will end in 2025, just in time for her to compete in the next Winter Olympics in 2026.
She was ordered to forfeit “all titles, awards, medals, benefits, prizes and appearance money” earned after her positive doping sample was collected.
This decision, almost two years after the end of the Beijing Games, is the latest twist in a years-long battle that has woven threads familiar to fans of the recent Olympics: athletic greatness, Russian doping, scathing accusations and rumors of a cover-up. . But ultimately, the case exposed the inability of global sports to enforce their doping rules and punish athletes and countries in a timely manner.
The court’s decision is expected to have consequences for other skaters. Due to Valieva’s participation in the team event, Russia could lose its top spot, with victory going to the American team that finished second in Beijing.
The results of this event were one of the most controversial points of the Games. With no clarity on Valieva’s status, no medal ceremony took place – the first time in Olympic history that medals were not awarded in a completed event. This means that all teams left China without their podium place or medals.