Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva's fate to be decided by Court of Arbitration for Sport_freckle removal acid

Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva's fate to be decided by Court of Arbitration for SportRussian figure skater Kamila Valieva's right to compete in the women's event at the Beijing Olympics will be decided at an urgent hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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Russia's anti-doping agency lifted a ban imposed on 15-year-old skater

James Ellingworth, Graham Dunbar · The Associated Press(Jeff Roberson/The Associated Press)

Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva's right to compete in the women's event at the Beijing Olympics will be decided at an urgent hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Both the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Testing Agency — on behalf of the IOC — said Friday they would fight the decision by Russia's anti-doping agency to allow the 15-year-old Valieva to skate. The Russian agency provisionally banned Valieva Tuesday because she failed a doping test in December. After an appeal, the agency lifted the ban Wednesday.

Valieva is the heavy favourite in her event, which begins Tuesday. She set world record scores this season and landed the first quad jump by a woman at an Olympics as the Russian Olympic Committee won the team event. The ROC said it will fight to keep that gold medal, and Valieva has passionate support from the Kremlin.

The ITA confirmed reports that Valieva tested positive for the banned substance trimetazidine at the Russian national championships in St. Petersburg six weeks ago.

The positive test was flagged by a laboratory in Sweden only on Tuesday — the day after Valieva helped the Russians win the team event and just hours before the medal ceremony, which was then postponed. Whether the Russians will lose their gold medal in the team event will be decided later.

The Russian anti-doping agency said it was told the delay was caused by the coronavirus, with lab staff in Sweden having been either ill or in isolation. The agency, known as RUSADA, added that it was also investigating Valieva's entourage "to identify all the circumstances involved in a possible breach of anti-doping rules."

It also said it was first told of the positive result by lab on Monday, not Tuesday, as reported by the ITA.

The hospital that oversees the Swedish lab said in an emailed statement that "the laboratory is not allowed in any way to comment on a pending case," when asked by The Associated Press to explain the weeks-long delay in testing the sample. It is not clear when Russian anti-doping officials sent the sample or when it arrived at the lab.

  • EXPLAINERWhat is trimetazidine, the drug reportedly behind an Olympic figure skating doping case?
  • Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva tests positive for banned heart medication: reports

"We have the same questions as everyone else about the team figure skating case. It's important that a fair process unfolds and the integrity of sport is protected. Our hope is that this is resolved quickly and the medallists get the medal moment they've earned here in Beijing," said Eric Myles, Chief Sport Officer for the Canadian Olympic Committee.

Valieva was hit with an immediate interim ban from the Beijing Olympics by the Russian anti-doping agency known as RUSADA, which oversaw testing at the national championships. On Wednesday, a RUSADA disciplinary panel upheld her appeal and overturned the skater's interim ban.

The rushed hearing will only consider the question of the provisional ban at these Games, said the International Testing Agency, which is prosecuting on behalf of the IOC. The ITA was formed by the IOC in 2018 in the wake of the Russian doping scandal to manage international testing and to design the anti-doping program for the Olympics.

"The IOC will exercise its right to appeal and not to wait for the reasoned decision by RUSADA, because a decision is needed before the next competition the athlete is due to take part in," the testing agency said.

WATCH | Canada could benefit after Valieva tests positive for banned substance:

Russian doping scandal could impact Canada’s medal count

2 days agoDuration 3:56A doping infraction by a figure skater could cost the Russians a gold medal in the team event and potentially bump the Canadians up to a bronze. Medal favourite Kamila Valieva, 15, reportedly tested positive for a banned heart medication before her arrival at the Beijing Olympics.3:56

As a 15-year-old, Valieva has protections in the the World Anti-Doping Code. Under these guidelines she could ultimately receive just a simple reprimand.

When a minor is implicated in doping rules violations, the rules say her entourage, such as coaches and team doctors, must be investigated, too. That isn't typically the case for athletes aged over 18.

"Such cases are not helpful to the Games," IOC spokesman Mark Adams said. "These cases need to be prosecuted properly, taken care of properly and due process needs to be gone through. Otherwise I think the confidence of people would be even less. So I think it's very important for everybody concerned, not least the 15-year-old athlete that's concerned, that we have due process, that it's seen to be done properly, and that people can have confidence in the decisions that are taken."

Valieva will likely be stripped of her Russian national title in December.

The Russian Olympic Committee said it would defend Valieva and fight to keep the team event gold she contributed to. It added that a doping test Valieva took while at the Olympics came back clean. All medallists are tested at the Olympics.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was vocal in calling for support for Valieva.

"We're waiting for the proceedings to end. And infinitely, absolutely infinitely, and completely and in any case we are supporting our Kamila Valieva," he told reporters Friday.

"And we call on everyone to support her. And we say to Kamila: 'Kamila, do not hide your face, you are a Russian woman, walk proudly everywhere and most of all, compete and win against everyone.'"

For the second straight day, Valieva worked out early at the main rink inside Capital Indoor Stadium as if nothing was amiss. She was flanked by Russian teammates Alexandra Trusova and world champion Anna Shcherbakova, both of whom are also coached by Eteri Tutberidze.

During the 45-minute session, Valieva threw down four quad jumps, including one in a potentially high-scoring combination with a triple salchow. She returned later in the day for another practice.

WATCH | 15-year-old Russian skater Valieva practices after reports of positive test:

15-year-old Russian skater Valieva practices after reports of positive test

2 days agoDuration 0:49Andi Petrillo provides an update after reports that Kamila Valieva tested positive for a banned heart medication in December.What is trimetazidine, the drug reportedly behind an Olympic figure skating doping case?

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