The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) found figure skater Kamila Valieva violated anti-doping rules but bore no “fault or negligence” for the transgression, according to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
The ruling in effect clears Valieva of wrongdoing and administers no punishment beyond the disqualification of her results from December 25, 2021 – the date of her sample collection.
The decision, made by a RUSADA tribunal, would allow the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) to earn the gold medals won in the team figure skating event at the Beijing Olympics in 2022.
CNN has reached out to RUSADA for comment.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) released a statement implying it is likely to appeal the verdict.
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“WADA notes this outcome and has requested a copy of the full reasoned decision, which it will review together with the case file in order to determine whether the ruling is in line with the terms of the World Anti-Doping Code,” it said in a statement.
“However, based on the elements of the case with which WADA is already familiar, the Agency is concerned by the finding of ‘no fault or negligence’ and will not hesitate to exercise its right of appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, as appropriate.
“Following a full review of the RUSADA decision, WADA will consider what its next steps will be so that the matter is dealt with as quickly as possible and without further undue delay.”
Travis Tygart, CEO of the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), said in a statement to CNN: “WADA and the ISU [International Skating Union] have to appeal this decision, for the sake of the credibility of the anti-doping system and the rights of all athletes.
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“The world can’t possibly accept this self-serving decision by RUSADA, which in the recent past has been a key instrument of Russia’s state sponsored doping fraud and is non-compliant. Justice demands a full, fair, public hearing outside of Russia.”
Valieva, who is now 16, was suspended by RUSADA the day after she guided the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) to victory in the team event in Beijing, where she became the first woman to land a quadruple jump in the Winter Olympics.
She tested positive for a banned substance – the heart medication trimetazidine, which can enhance endurance – in December 2021. But the results of the failed December drug test only came to light during the Olympics when it was analyzed and reported to RUSADA.
Valieva has not publicly explained the positive test results.
Team USA finished second in the team event in Beijing, Japan in third, and Canada fourth. As a result of the doping controversy, no medal ceremony was held during the Games.
CNN has reached out to the ISU and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for comment.
In a statement to CNN, the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee said: “As we approach the one-year anniversary of the Beijing Games, it remains very important that the figure skating team event athletes who competed in Beijing get the resolution they deserve.
“We thank WADA for their commitment to reviewing this issue and moving the process forward as expeditiously as possible.”