Berliner Tageblatt - How Valieva's Olympic doping controversy erupted

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How Valieva's Olympic doping controversy erupted
How Valieva's Olympic doping controversy erupted / Photo: ©

How Valieva's Olympic doping controversy erupted

Russian teenage figure skating sensation Kamila Valieva was on Monday cleared by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to continue competing in the Beijing Olympics despite failing a doping test.

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AFP charts how the controversy surrounding the 15-year-old unfolded:

December 25, 2021: Valieva has a sample collected while competing at the Russian Championships in Saint Petersburg. It is sent for testing to a laboratory in Stockholm accredited by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA). It detects the presence of trimetazidine, a metabolic agent used for the treatment of angina but banned by WADA because it can increase blood flow efficiency and help endurance.

February 7, 2022: Valieva becomes the first woman to land a quadruple jump in Olympic competition and in the process leads the Russians to gold in the figure skating team event at the Beijing Olympics.

February 8: The medals ceremony for the team competition fails to take place -- the first sign that something is amiss. Laboratory reports to a positive test to Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA.

February 9: Behind closed doors, RUSADA suspends Valieva. She appeals and later the same day the suspension is lifted, allowing her to carry on competing. International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams cites a "legal consultation" for the medals ceremony failing to take place. Reports emerge that Valieva has tested positive for a banned substance but there is no official confirmation.

February 11: Valieva practises on the rink in Beijing even as speculation swirls. The International Testing Agency, who carry out test for the Olympics, confirms the reports that she failed a test for trimetazidine. The IOC appeals against RUSADA's move to lift the suspension on Valieva.

February 12: CAS says it will hold a hearing on February 13 and deliver its verdict the day after that.

February 14: CAS clears Valieva to carry on competing in Beijing, citing "exceptional circumstances" including her young age. It says suspending her would have caused her "irreparable harm in these circumstances." She is not cleared of doping though and could face sanctions at a later date.

February 15: Valieva is take part in the women's singles competition and is favourite for gold. Russia could win all three medals thanks to Valieva's teammates Alexandra Trusova and Anna Shcherbakova, both 17.