Kamila Valieva, whose case continues to be considered by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, was again in the spotlight this week. The hearings began in September, but were postponed until November at the request of the athlete’s legal team.
According to USA Today, this was at the request of the athlete’s lawyers, who provided the arbitrators with documents not originally included in the review but known to exist.
Prior to the hearings, which took place on November 9 and 10, USADA head Travis Tygart spoke out to the media, calling what was happening a “continuing travesty” that undermines athletes’ confidence in the system. This is due to the fact that athletes were denied the opportunity to get on the podium at the Beijing Games. The awarding of skaters in the team event has not yet taken place due to uncertainty over the results of the Russian athlete affecting the distribution of places.
Coach Tutberidze expressed her attitude to the situation, suggesting to check all participants of the process on a lie detector. She emphasized that the athlete was clean at the start and expressed bewilderment about how she could get into the team with a hovering analysis.
Little is known about the progress of the hearing and a final decision is expected from the Court of Arbitration for Sport in the next few months, until the end of January 2024.
Sports lawyer Anna Antseliovich opined that Valieva has a chance of retaining her medal, pointing to the low concentration of the banned drug in her sample.
Meanwhile, Valieva herself spoke to the arbitrators online and traveled to the Russian Grand Prix stage in Kazan accompanied by Tutberidze.
The vice president of the Russian Figure Skating Federation said the tournament in Kazan is important for Valieva despite the situation.
Olympic champion Natalia Bestemyanova expressed hope that the sanctions against Valieva will be minimal, although WADA and the IOC are demanding a four-year disqualification.
Valieva continues to prepare for her first start of the season, expressing hope for minimal losses as a result of the process.