Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva has been cleared to compete in the women’s figure skating competition, but a medal ceremony will not take place if she steps onto the podium, the International Olympic Committee has announced.
Controversy cast a cloud over the event after Valieva, 15, tested positive in December for the banned substance trimetazidine. (Why it took so long for the results of this test to be revealed remains unclear.) Valieva was immediately suspended, then the suspension was lifted after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that Valieva did not need be temporarily suspended pending a full investigation because she is a minor.
The decision to let Valieva skate despite failing the drug test sparked backlash in the Olympic community.
“It is the collective responsibility of the entire Olympic community to protect the integrity of sport and to hold our athletes, coaches and everyone involved to the highest of standards,” the CEO of the Olympic and Paralympic Committee said. American, Sarah Hirshland, in the press release. “Athletes have a right to know that they are competing on a level playing field. Unfortunately, today that right is being denied. This seems to be another chapter in Russia’s systemic and pervasive disregard for clean sports. .”