World Anti-Doping Agency appeals for back-dated ban for Russia’s Kamila Valieva

The World Anti-Doping Agency has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in the Kamila Valieva case and is seeking a back-dated four-year ban for the skater.

It emerged mid-competition at the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing last year that Russian athlete Valieva, then 15, had returned a positive doping test in 2021.

Last month WADA published the findings of a Russian anti-doping agency (Rusada) tribunal, which found Valieva, who had won an Olympic gold in the team event in Beijing, bore “no fault or negligence” for the positive test.

On Tuesday WADA said in a statement: “WADA has carefully reviewed the full reasoned decision and file related to the case of Russian Olympic Committee figure skater, Kamila Valieva.

“Accordingly, WADA considers the finding by the disciplinary tribunal of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency that the athlete bore ‘no fault or negligence’ to be wrong under the terms of the World Anti-Doping Code in this case and has exercised its right to lodge an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“Within the appeal, WADA is seeking a four-year period of ineligibility and disqualification of all the athlete’s results from the date of the sample collection on December 25, 2021.

“As it has sought to do throughout this process, WADA will continue to push for this matter to proceed without further undue delay.

“Given the case is now pending before CAS, WADA can make no further comment at this time.”

Despite her positive test, Valieva was allowed to continue competing in Beijing after the CAS overturned a bid by WADA and the IOC to suspend Valieva, accepting a ban could cause her “irreparable harm” due to her age.

She subsequently crashed out of medal contention in the women’s singles event, after which the reaction of her controversial trainer Eteri Tutberidze drew unprecedented criticism from IOC president Thomas Bach.

Russian skaters are currently banned from competing internationally by the International Skating Union. Valieva returned to competition in Russia last year with a new routine that included excerpts of news reports about her drug test, and concluded with her referencing the media storm by drawing a hood across her face.