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Kremlin in Russia and ROC criticize CAS doping ban

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Kremlin in Russia and ROC criticize CAS doping ban

Almost two years after the Olympic scandal surrounding Kamila Waliyeva, the Russian figure skater was subsequently banned for four years by the International Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Due to the ban, the US selection will subsequently be awarded Olympic victory in the team competition in Beijing. This emerges from the new ranking that the International Ice Skating Union (ISU) published on Tuesday. After Valiyeva’s rating was deducted, the Russian team is now in third place with 54 points, one point ahead of Canada. Silver goes to Japan with 63 points.

The US Figure Skating Association posted a picture of the team with a gold medal on the X platform (formerly Twitter) and wrote: “We are extremely proud of our 2022 Olympic champions.” The comment was accompanied by the hashtag “#MoreThanMedals (more than just medals). According to the CAS decision published on Monday, Valiyeva’s ban will begin retroactively from December 25, 2021.

Valiyeva was 15 years old when she tested positive for doping

The Kremlin meanwhile criticizes the CAS ruling as politically motivated. “Of course we don’t agree with this,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov in St. Petersburg on Monday. If there are legal remedies against the ruling of the International Court of Arbitration for Sport, then Russia should use them, he said, according to the Tass agency. “We must defend the interests of our athletes to the last.” The decision also caused horror at the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC). “War has been declared on Russian sport,” it said in a statement. “All methods” are “right” to attack Russian sport, the National Olympic Committee said: “The decision of the CAS is negative, but it has long been impossible to count on the objectivity and impartiality of this international structure.”

On Tuesday, Peskov said in another statement: Russian athletes “will always remain Olympic champions for us, no matter what decisions, even unjust ones, are made.” This means that the members of the figure skating team will keep their Olympic bonuses.

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The case of Valiyeva, who is now 17 years old, has been keeping sports lawyers busy since the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. After the team competition, the figure skater had a positive doping test. Valiyeva tested positive for the banned drug trimetazidine at the national championships in December 2021. Because Valiyeva was only 15 years old at the time, she was considered a “protected person” under the World Anti-Doping Code whose identity should not have been revealed. The secrecy failed. Walijewa’s legally enforced start in the Olympic women’s singles ended as a scandal with a tearful routine, the favorite only ended up in fourth place.

The Russian Figure Skating Federation announced that it would closely examine the verdict. Since the Federation is not taking part in the proceedings, the verdict is only known from publicly available sources, said Secretary General Alexander Kogan. “We assume that our athletes will be Olympic champions in the team competition,” he said, according to the Tass agency. “It is a great pity that such an honest, wonderful, talented person like Kamila has to deal with such harsh injustice at a young age,” said Russian success coach Tatjana Tarasova. “The hatred of our country has been transferred to them.”

The CAS sports judges took over the case in autumn 2022 because the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the ISU had objected to the ruling by the Russian anti-doping agency Rusada. Rusada had only stripped Valiyeva of the national championship title, but had not imposed any further sanctions. “No guilt or negligence” could be proven.

WADA: “Doping of children is unforgivable”

WADA initiated CAS proceedings to obtain a four-year ban for Valiyeva. WADA has appealed “in the interests of fairness for the athletes and clean sport” and believes this is the right decision, the world agency said on Monday. “Doping of children is unforgivable. Doctors, trainers or other support staff who have administered performance-enhancing substances to minors will face the full severity of the World Anti-Doping Code,” the statement said.

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For Germany’s National Anti-Doping Agency, the verdict is a reminder to see the protection of underage youth as a central “goal of anti-doping work in Germany”. NADA announced this in response to the four-year ban that was subsequently imposed. “Backbenchers who dope children or entice them to do so must be sanctioned,” the NADA statement continued. In addition to the sporting rules, Germany has the criminal anti-doping law to prosecute such backers. “The anti-doping law ensures that doping of minors is considered a crime and is severely punished,” said the Bonn-based agency.

Roland Zorn, Kaunas Published/Updated: Recommendations: 4 Christoph Becker Published/Updated: Recommendations: 31 Published/Updated: Recommendations: 11

The International Olympic Committee welcomes the fact that clarity has been provided in the Valiyeva case. According to the CAS ruling, the athletes in the Olympic team competition in Beijing 2022 can now “receive their medals for which they have been waiting for so long,” an IOC spokesman said on Tuesday in response to a dpa request. “The IOC is now in a position to award the medals according to the ranking list to be drawn up by the International Skating Union (ISU),” it said. “We have great sympathy for the athletes who had to wait two years for the final results of their competition.”

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