Monday 14 February 2022

Kamila Valieva CAS ruling – what it means

 So the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has ruled that Kamila Valieva can compete in the individual ice-skating competition [1]. As I suggested in my last blog this seems to be largely based on her “protected person” status given that she is a minor. I don’t find this surprising, especially as a doping offence has not been admitted by the athlete or her team and – apparently – the B sample has not been tested. However, neither the IOC [2] nor WADA [3] are happy about this; indeed WADA feels that CAS did not understand the WADA rules. Also it blames Russia for not requesting that her sample be fast tracked so that the result was known prior to the start of the Olympics. 


However, the CAS judgement was ONLY with regards to whether she can compete in the event. Not whether she (or more reasonably those who are responsible for her wellbeing) committed a doping offence. She  - and indeed the whole ROC team – could still lose all their medals. And no medal ceremonies will be held for either the team or individual women’s ice skating at these Olympics. An extra (25th) athlete is being allowed to skate in the final free skating in the (admittedly unlikely chance) that the 25th best skater would have been denied a medal if Valieva was later banned. 


Meanwhile WADA have said they will investigate the role of Valieva’s support personnel, a process already started by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency. I could comment but as this is more (all?) about the law rather than the science of doping – and laced with bit of politics of course – there is not much more that I can usefully ad as a scientist. 







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