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15-Year-Old Russian Olympian Fails To Medal Amid Doping Scandal Criticism
BEIJING, CHINA - FEBRUARY 17: Kamila Valieva of Team ROC skates during the Women Single Skating Free Skating on day thirteen of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at Capital Indoor Stadium on February 17, 2022 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

There will be a medal ceremony in the women’s individual figure skating event. 

Controversial Russian skater Kamila Valieva finished fourth in the event, after a disastrous performance in the women’s free skate. Valieva entered the free skate atop the standings, but stumbled in her free skate performance, ending with the 15-year-old star in tears. 

Valieva’s presence at the Beijing Olympics has been quite controversial following the news that she tested positive for a banned substance prior to the start of the Winter Games. 

Last Wednesday, the medal ceremony for the team figure skating event was delayed due to a reported positive drug test from the gold medal-winning Russian team.

It quickly emerged that Valieva reportedly tested positive for a banned substance. According to Russian media, the substance was trimetazidine, used to treat chest pain, and was found in a sample collected two months prior to the Olympics.

On Monday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) declined to provisionally suspend Valieva, citing her age, the timing of the failed test, and the threat of “irreparable harm” to the athlete. 

“The Panel considered fundamental principles of fairness, proportionality, irreparable harm, and the relative balance of interests as between the Applicants and the Athlete, who did not test positive during the Olympic Games in Beijing and is still subject to a disciplinary procedure on the merits following the positive anti-doping test undertaken in December 2021; in particular, the Panel considered that preventing the Athlete from competing at the Olympic Games would cause her irreparable harm in these circumstances,” the CAS said in a media release. 

In an unprecedented move, the International Olympic Committee announced that should Valieva win another gold medal, no medal ceremony would be held. 

Due to Valieva not medaling, there will be a medal ceremony for the winners of the women’s individual figure skating event. Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova of the Russian Olympic Committee took home gold and silver, while Kaori Sakamoto of Japan was awarded the bronze medal. 

On Tuesday, it emerged that Valieva blamed the positive test on her grandfather’s heart medication, saying that the amount of banned substance in her system was negligible and that it entered into her system accidentally.

“There can be completely different ways how it [trimetazidine] got [into Valieva’s body],” Valieva’s lawyers said. “For example, grandfather drank something from a glass, saliva got in, this glass was somehow later used by an athlete. Or the drug lay down on some surface, traces remained, then the drug lay down on this surface, which the athlete then drank.”

A decision will be made on Russia’s team figure skating gold medal once the case has been resolved, which could take months. 

“It’s definitely tough with the situation that has been unfolding, and probably continuing to unfold, to stay focused because there’s so much buzz around this event,” American skater Karen Chen said after her performance. “It’s really hard to stay focused.”

Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to [email protected].

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