(Bloomberg) — The International Olympic Committee pushed back against a ruling that allowed Russian Olympic Committee figure skater Kamila Valieva to continue to compete at the Beijing Winter Olympics despite failing a drug test, saying it would not hold a medal ceremony for the women’s individual event if she finishes on the podium.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport on Monday declined to impose a temporary suspension on Valieva partly due to her status as a minor, after it came to light on Feb. 8 that the 15-year-old had tested positive for a banned heart drug from a sample taken before the Olympics. The Russian anti-doping agency had temporarily suspended Valieva after learning she had tested positive for trimetazidine, which can boost endurance, then reinstated her on Feb. 9.
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The IOC, the International Skate Union and the World Anti-Doping Agency had all appealed to have Valieva’s suspension reinstated. The parties acknowledged the court’s decision to allow Valieva to keep competing, but the IOC and WADA voiced their disappointment toward the CAS judgment. WADA added it would further investigate Valieva’s support staff.
Valieva is viewed as a top contender for gold in the women’s individual event, which begins Tuesday. She was also part of the ROC team that won gold at last week’s team event, though the medal ceremony has yet to take place due to the investigation. The IOC said that in the interest of fairness, it would only allow medal ceremonies for both the team and the women’s individual event to take place after further investigation into Valieva.
“The management of the case after this positive A-sample has not yet been concluded. Only after due process has been followed can it be established whether Ms Valieva infringed the World Anti-Doping Code and would have to be sanctioned,” the IOC said in a statement.
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