In 2022, Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva, a standout at the Olympics, tested positive for banned substances, leading to disqualification from the Olympics and a four-year ban by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The tribunal wrote, “Having carefully considered all the evidence put before it, the CAS panel concluded that Ms. Valieva was not able to establish, on the balance of probabilities and on the basis of the evidence before the Panel, that she had not committed the (doping violation) intentionally.”
As a result, the Russian team is likely to lose their gold medal in the figure skating team event, with the U.S. expected to be named the new Olympic champion.
The International Olympic Committee decided not to present any medals for the event and upheld appeals for Valieva’s disqualification.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) welcomed the CAS ruling and emphasized the severity of doping minors, calling for legal consequences for those involved.
WADA wrote, “The doping of children is unforgivable.”
“Doctors, coaches or other support personnel who are found to have provided performance-enhancing substances to minors should face the full force of the World Anti-Doping Code. Indeed, WADA encourages governments to consider passing legislation – as some have done already – making the doping of minors a criminal offense,” continued the organization.
Russian officials had initially suggested a different course of action, but the CAS ruling prevailed.