More than a year has passed since the whole world learned about Kamila Valieva’s positive doping sample. The proceedings in the case are still going on, and we have to collect information on the progress of the process month by month. And, as it turned out, there is still no way out without a trial.
In January 2023, the disciplinary committee of RUSADA acquitted Kamila and disqualified her for only one day – the one in which the sample was submitted. The figure skater lost her title of Russian champion, but that was the end of it: the decision kept her other awards.
It’s time for a new step – on the official website of WADA there is a statement about the appeal of the Valiyeva case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). What does it mean and what punishment does the agency demand from our sportswoman?
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has appealed the decision of the disciplinary committee of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) to find Kamila Valieva not guilty.
On January 13 RUSADA Disciplinary Committee found the figure skater not guilty of violating anti-doping rules. The committee ruled that despite the fact of the violation itself, there was no fault or negligence on the part of the athlete.
“WADA has carefully reviewed the full reasoned decision and materials related to the case of figure skater Kamila Valieva.
WADA considers the conclusion of the disciplinary committee of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency that there was no “fault or negligence” on the part of the athlete to be incorrect in accordance with the provisions of the World Anti-Doping Code in this case and has exercised its right to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
As part of the appeal, WADA seeks a four-year period of ineligibility and the cancellation of all of the athlete’s results from the date of her sample on December 25, 2021. WADA will continue to insist that the case be heard without further unnecessary delay.
Considering that the case is now under CAS review, WADA can give no further comments at the moment,” the organization said.
Recall that at the Olympics-2022, on the day when the awards were to be held at the end of the team tournament, it became known about a positive doping sample Valiyeva collected on December 25, 2021. The medal presentation was postponed pending an investigation, and Kamila had to defend her right to compete in the individual tournament, where she eventually came in fourth place. Earlier, RUSADA had acquitted the skater, but it could be reviewed.
Important things to understand from the new press release of the World Anti-Doping Agency:
The new appeal is already based on the reasoning decision of the RUSADA CD: WADA has fully studied it, including all related materials, and found the conclusions to be incorrect. Recall that the DK RUSADA came to the verdict that there was no “fault or negligence” on the part of the athlete, and that is why the figure skater was suspended for only one day – the day of sample submission.
WADA did not change its tactics: the agency still demands the maximum penalty for Kamila. The agency still demands the maximum penalty for Kamala: a four-year ban and annulment of all results starting from December 25, 2021.
If the CAS fully satisfies the appeal of WADA, Kamila will lose not only her gold medal of the Russian Championship. Her results at the European Championships and the Olympic Games (both in team and individual events) will also be annulled.
It is worth noting that WADA had already sent an appeal to CAS regarding the Valiyeva case, and it was due to the absence of RUSADA’s decision. Albeit not in time, but it was provided, and WADA spent some time studying it. The RUSADA materials have not changed the World Anti-Doping Agency’s position in any way: as then they insisted on a four-year disqualification, they continue to insist now.
WADA believes that it is impossible to comment further on the case, because the case is currently in court. It is likely that we will soon learn about the dates of the CAS hearing, and only then we will be able to predict when the verdict will be rendered and when there will be clarity about the distribution of Olympic team medals.
Back in December in the Russian media there was information about who would represent Valieva at the hearings. According to “Match TV”, the Swiss law firm Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd refused to cooperate with Kamila. This organization represented the interests of Valiyeva during the hearings at the Olympic Games in Beijing, and then succeeded in getting Kamila to participate in an individual tournament.
According to TASS, the British specialist Arthur Graham could represent Valiyeva in court. Previously, this specialist has already worked on some RUSADA cases. Also Russian lawyers may represent the interests of the figure skater.
The next start for Kamila will be the Russian Grand Prix Final, which will be held on March 3-5 in St. Petersburg at the same arena where the pre-Olympic Russian Championship was held.
Sports lawyer Anna Antseliovich commented on the news that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the verdict in the case of Kamila Valieva.
“The WADA’s appeal may be delayed, but the question here is whether the parties will agree to an expedited review. If they agree, then CAS will consider in the schedule agreed by the parties, give a week, a month, roughly speaking.
If they do not agree, then there are prescribed deadlines, but usually at the request of the parties, they can be extended if there is a legitimate reason.
Officially, yes, the case could drag on, especially if one of the parties says they need to conduct some kind of scientific expertise,” said Antseliovich.
Tatiana Tarasova, an honorary coach of the USSR, commented on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
“Horribly unfair demands of WADA to suspend Kamila for four years. When will it end already? How and how much longer can you poison the best girl in figure skating? Sick people! They know she is the best and they do it on purpose. So that their children would get the same judges as Kamila Valiyeva. I can’t influence these processes, but everyone should support Kamila now. She is being hunted,” Sport24 quotes Tarasova.
Three-time Olympic champion figure skater Irina Rodnina commented on the news that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the verdict in the case of Kamila Valiyeva.
“I think WADA had reason to appeal to CAS. Kamila’s case is RUSADA’s trouble. These are not far-fetched accusations, the fact of banned drugs was. I don’t know the allowed doses, but the rules were broken. Yes, they started to check the samples very late, but the fact remains.
This cannot be called political pressure – this is our problem. RUSADA made a mistake by not acting promptly before the Olympics,” Rodnina said.