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IOC Board Decides Against Holding Medal Ceremonies Involving Russian Skater Valieva

© Sputnik / Alexander Wilf / Go to the mediabankRussian skater Kamila Valieva
Russian skater Kamila Valieva  - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.02.2022
The Winter Olympics in Beijing were rocked by a scandal, right after the Russian skating team won gold, when a positive doping sample was discovered in a test taken well ahead of the games from Russian skater Kamila Valieva. On Monday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport allowed the 15-year-old figure skater to take part in further competitions.
The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided that no ceremony will be held to award the winners of the Olympic team figure skating competition, where the Russian team won gold. The decision comes in the wake of a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to clear Russian skater, Kamila Valieva, accused of violating doping rules, for further competitions.

"In the interest of fairness to all athletes and the NOCs [the national Olympic committees] concerned, it would not be appropriate to hold the medal ceremony for the figure skating team event during the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 as it would include an athlete who on the one hand has a positive A-sample, but whose violation of the anti-doping rules has not yet been established on the other hand", the IOC said in a statement.

The IOC also decided against holding the award ceremony for the upcoming Women's Single Skating competition if Russian skater Kamila Valieva wins a medal in it, despite being cleared to take part in the event. The competition is to start on 15 February and will continue on 17 February following qualifications.
The Olympic Committee elaborated that dignified medal ceremonies will be organised after consultations with athletes and NOCs once the Russian skater's doping case concludes.
The Committee further said that it had requested the International Skating Union (ISU) to make a small rules change for the upcoming Women's Single Skating competition: should Valieva successfully qualify on 15 February, to allow an additional, 25th competitor to join the finals on 17 February.

Valieva Cleared to Skate in Olympics Despite Hysteria in Media

The Executive Board of the IOC did not elaborate on the reasons behind the request to change the rules, but the Russian skater, 15-year-old Kamila Valieva, is yet to face the hearing regarding the positive doping sample taken from her on 25 December of last year. The hearing will decide whether she broke the World Anti-Doping Code and what punishments she should face.
In the wake of the information about a positive doping test, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) imposed a provisional suspension on Valieva, which she challenged. Shortly thereafter, the IOC, ISU, and WADA appealed RUSADA's decision to clear the skater for competitions with CAS. The court reviewed her case ruling that the skater can continue to take part in the Olympics and that the sanctions for her positive sample will be determined later.
CAS noted in its ruling that the Russian skater had not tested positive for doping during the current Winter Olympic Games and that as an underage individual enjoys the status of a "protected person" and laxer sanctions. Furthermore, the court underscored "serious issues of untimely notification of the results" of the positive doping sample, taken long before the start of the Olympics but revealed only on 8 February – right after Valieva made history becoming the first woman to successfully perform quad jumps in the Olympics.
Despite the legal proceeding in Valieva's case still being underway (and unlikely to finish during the Olympics) and regardless of her young age, Western media outlets have hyped up the hysteria around the finding, peppering her and IOC officials with questions regarding the fate of her past and future performances at the games.
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