Court of Arbitration for Sport hears Kamila Valieva case today

Updated September 28, 2023

595 days after news broke of Kamila Valieva’s positive doping sample at a competition in December 2021, the arbitration proceedings are to begin. 

The Olympic Games, seen as the height of accomplishment for almost every athlete, was overshadowed by the news that broke just two days after the conclusion of the Team Event – the day after the start of the individual events. The news led to the delay of the 2022 Olympic Team Event medals from being awarded, and it’s currently unknown what the outcome will be if Valieva does receive a disqualification from the date of testing positive for a prohibited substance.

The ISU are seeking a period of 4 years of ineligibility, or subsidiarily 2 years, with disqualification of all results from 25 December 2021. This would see Valieva lose her 2022 European Champion title and medal as part of the Team Event.

The new Europeans podium would be: Anna Shcherbakova (Russia), Alexandra Trusova (Russia), and moving up to bronze would be Loena Hendrickx (Belgium).

However it’s currently unknown how the rest of the scoring from the latter event would play out.

Team ROC won the event with a total of 74 points, 20 of which comes from Valieva’s two skates. Team USA placed second with 65 points and Team Japan third with 63. Team Canada finished with 53 points in fourth. If just Valieva’s points are taken away, Team ROC move into third place with a new total of 54 and Team USA and Team Japan would move up and receive the gold and silver medals respectively.

Another possibility is that Team ROC lose their placement altogether and Team Canada moves into the bronze medal position.

Whatever the outcome, in however many weeks or months it takes for a decision to be announced, it’s been a long time coming for seventeen athletes to know the fate of their Olympics Games.

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Timeline of Events

December 25, 2021
The day of the women’s free skate at the 2022 Russian Figure Skating Championships, an anti-doping sample was collected and sent to a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited lab in Sweden.
Valieva won the competition. 

January 15, 2022
Valieva wins the 2022 European Championships in Tallinn, Estonia.

January 20, 2022
Russia Valieva is named to the ‘Russian Olympic Committee’ Team.

February 6th and 7th, 2022
Valieva competes in the Team Event and closes out the event by winning. 

February 8th, 2022
The medal ceremony is postponed. Initial reports say “a situation has urgently arisen that requires legal advice from the ISU.” 
Valieva is notified of the result by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and is provisionally suspended with immediate effect. 

February 9th, 2022
insidethegames reports that Valieva is the skater involved and “confirmed that it involves a drugs test taken by Valieva before Beijing 2022.”
Further reports in the day said the tested sample contained a banned substance called trimetazidine. 
RUSADA’s independent Disciplinary Anti-Doping Committee (DAC) lifts the suspension on appeal, allowing Valieva to continue competing at the Olympics.

February 10th, 2022
Valieva attends a scheduled practice session.

February 11th, 2022
The ISU announce in a statement that they will exercise their right to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) the decision of RUSADA to lift the suspension and ask CAS to reinstate the provisional suspension.
The IOC and WADA also lodge appeals to review RUSADA DAC’s decision. 
The Figure Skating Federation of Russia issued a statement and noted that Valieva’s tests at the European Championships and in Beijing were negative.

February 13th, 2022
CAS hearing takes place, which was scheduled to be ahead of the start of the women’s event on February 15th.
According to an IOC representative, Valieva argues that the positive test result was “due to contamination with [her] grandad’s medicine.”

February 14th, 2022
CAS have determined the provisional suspension to Kamila Valieva remains lifted due to exceptional circumstances including the fact “The Athlete is a Protected Person.”
WADA announces their independent Intelligence and Investigations Department will be looking into Valieva’s support personnel due to her being a minor.
Under the IOC’s request, the ISU allows a 25th woman to advance to the Free Skate if Valieva places in the top 24.
The IOC also indefinitely postponed the medal ceremony for the team event.

February 15th, 2022
Valieva competes in the Women’s Short program and places first.
The New York Times reported that Valieva tested positive for two other drugs that are not banned from competition: hypoxen and L-carnitine.

February 17th, 2022
Valieva competes in the Free Skate and places fifth to finish fourth overall. 

February 19th, 2022
CAS dismissed an application from Team USA figure skaters to present them with their Team Event silver medals prior to the close of the Olympics.

September 14, 2022
RUSADA’s investigation into Kamila Valieva’s doping violation has been completed. The results are now being processed.

September 29, 2022
Hypoxen is added to WADA’s 2023 Monitoring Program.

October 21, 2022
RUSADA announce that due to Kamila Valieva being a protected person the final resolution of her doping matter will be confidential. They will not announce the date of her hearings, the decision, or other details in her case.

November 14, 2022
CAS registers the Statement of Appeal filed by WADA against RUSADA and Kamila Valieva for failure to reach a decision regarding her positive doping sample.
WADA seeks Valieva be suspended for a four-year period, as well as the disqualification of all competitive results obtained by her from, and including the date of 25 December 2021.

January 13, 2023
RIA Novosti reports that RUSADA’s disciplinary tribunal has found Kamila Valieva at no fault for her positive doping test. The only sanction implemented is the disqualification of her results on the day of the test, negating her win of the Russian Championship on December 25th, 2021.

February 21, 2023
WADA announce they disagree with the RUSADA disciplinary tribunal finding that Kamila Valieva bore “no fault or negligence”, declaring it wrong under the World Anti-Doping Code. They have appealed to CAS and are seeking a four year period of ineligibility and disqualification.

February 22, 2023
The ISU file an appeal to CAS, following a review of RUSADA’s decision regarding Kamila Valieva. They seek a period of ineligibility of CAS’s discretion and disqualification of results including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes during this time.

February 24, 2023
CAS registers appeals by RUSADA, the ISU, and WADA against the decision issued by the RUSADA disciplinary commission concerning Kamila Valieva. As well as the forth-mentioned appeals by the ISU and WADA, RUSADA seeks a ruling from CAS setting aside the disciplinary commission’s decision and sanctioned with “the appropriate consequences (which may include or be limited to a reprimand).”

June 22, 2023
CAS announced the following hearings take place September 26—29, 2023:
RUSADA v. Kamila Valieva
ISU v. Kamila Valieva, RUSADA
WADA v. RUSADA & Kamila Valieva

September 15, 2023
CAS outline details of Kamila Valieva’s hearings that will begin on September 26th.
The request by the U.S. Olympic Team to allow an observer of the hearing was denied as no parties in the hearing requested a public hearing.
RUSADA seeks ‘the appropriate consequences (which may include or be limited to a reprimand).’
The ISU seeks 4 years of ineligibility for Valieva, or subsidiarily 2 years, with disqualification of all results from 25 December 2021.
WADA seeks a 4 year period of ineligibility for Valieva with disqualification of all results from 25 December 2021.
Valieva seeks re-establishment of her National title and a ruling of no fault or negligence, or subsidiarily that the violation was not intentional for a maximum of 2 years ineligibility with no disqualified results.

September 26, 2023
CAS hearing begins in Switzerland.

September 28, 2023
CAS announce in a press release the adjournment in proceedings which will now resume on the 9th and 10th of November 2023.

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