Ruling in Russian Olympic figure skater Kamila Valieva’s doping case could be delayed to February

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — There could be yet another delay in the doping case of Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva, with a ruling now potentially coming more than two years since her positive test rocked the Beijing Winter Olympics.

The International Skating Union said in a statement Thursday that the Court of Arbitration for Sport “expects to publish its decision” by Feb. 12. After a five-day hearing ended earlier this month, CAS indicated it would publish the verdict in January. No reason was given for the apparent change.

It would be a small delay compared to earlier holdups in the long-running case but could mean the verdict arrives around the two-year anniversary of the Beijing Games.

Valieva, who was 15 at the time, tested positive for a banned heart medication in a sample she gave in December 2021, but the result from a lab in Sweden only came back after she had helped the Russian team win gold in the figure skating team event.

The medal ceremony was delayed pending resolution of the case, meaning no medals have yet been awarded to any of the athletes. The United States took silver, Japan the bronze and Canada placed fourth. They could be upgraded if Valieva is disqualified.

Valieva was allowed to keep skating at the Olympics by another CAS panel at the time and placed fourth in the women’s event after an error-filled free skate. The case prompted scrutiny of Russia’s world-beating skating squads and Valieva’s coach Eteri Tutberidze.

A Russian anti-doping tribunal’s ruling announced in January said Valieva, as an underage minor, was not at fault and should not be disqualified from the Olympics. CAS is now considering appeals brought by the World Anti-Doping Agency and the ISU challenging that Russian ruling.

WADA wants a four-year ban and the ISU asked for a two-year ban, both of which would include disqualification from the Olympics, while the Russian anti-doping agency argued for just a reprimand.

A panel of CAS judges heard three days of testimony in September and two more in early November. Valieva testified by video link from Russia. Valieva has not skated internationally since Beijing because the ISU bars Russian skaters from its events following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2024-paris-olympic-games

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