The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said it was “disappointed” by the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to authorize Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva to participate in the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
CAS announced its decision after an hour-long hearing on Sunday, saying in a statement it had decided that 15-year-old Valieva should be allowed to compete due to “exceptional circumstances”, including specific provisions related to her status as a “protected person” under the World Anti-Doping Code because she is a minor.
After initially appealing the case to CAS alongside the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Skating Union (ISU), WADA reacted to news that Valieva could continue to compete in Beijing.
“Although WADA did not receive the reasoned award, it appears that the CAS panel decided not to apply the terms of the Code, which does not allow specific exceptions to be made with respect to mandatory Provisional Suspensions. for ‘protected persons’, including minors.
“In regards to the analysis of the Athlete’s Sample, WADA still expects Anti-Doping Organizations to liaise with the Laboratories to ensure that they expedite the analysis of the Samples. so that results are received before athletes travel to or participate in a major event, such as the Olympic or Paralympic Games and, where appropriate, provide results management for cases related to such athletes.
“According to information received by WADA, the sample in this case was not flagged by RUSADA as being a priority sample when it was received by the anti-doping laboratory in Stockholm, Sweden. This meant that the laboratory didn’t know how to speed up the analysis of this sample.
“As previously announced, under the terms of the Code, when a minor is involved in an anti-doping matter, it is mandatory to investigate that athlete’s support personnel. RUSADA has already indicated that it has begun this process. The Department of Intelligence and Investigations will look into the matter.”
Meanwhile, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) called the situation “extremely unfortunate and sad for the athletes”.
Canada finished fourth in the team event won by the Russian Olympic Committee team and of which Valieva was a part.
“The COC is fully committed to clean sport and we firmly believe that no one involved in doping or other corrupt practices has a place in the Olympic Movement,” COC President Tricia Smith said in a statement. .
Smith added, “Although the COC has not been permitted to formally participate in the CAS appeals process, we have closely followed the details of the case and done what we can to ensure the interests of the parties are protected. Canadian figure skating athletes and all athletes. Although we are convinced that the decision of the CAS is the result of a fair process, we are extremely disappointed with this result.