Russia's Kamila Valieva Cleared to Figure Skate at Beijing Games amid Doping Controversy

"The panel considered that preventing the athlete to compete at the Olympic Games would cause her irreparable harm in the circumstances," the director of the Court of Arbitration for Sport said

Kamila Valieva
Kamila Valieva. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images

Kamila Valieva is allowed to take the ice.

On Monday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport announced that the 15-year-old Russian athlete will not be suspended and can compete in the short program in the women's single skating competition on Tuesday, a press release said.

Valieva's participation in the event, which she's favored to win, came into question after she reportedly tested positive for the banned substance Trimetazidine, a heart medication.

The CAS cited Valieva's status as a "protected person" (a minor) in making the decision in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code.

"The panel considered that preventing the athlete to compete at the Olympic Games would cause her irreparable harm in the circumstances," CAS Director General Matthieu Reeb said in a statement, per the Associated Press.

Kamila Valieva
Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images

However, if Valieva scores in the top three places the upcoming women's figure skating event, there will be no medal ceremony, the International Olympic Committee said. The IOC said saying such a celebration wouldn't be "appropriate," per the outlet.

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The favorable ruling for the Russian Olympic Committee could confuse the United States' standing in figure skating at the Olympics this year, as Team USA will now "leave Beijing unsure if they won silver or gold," the Associated Press reported. Last week, the U.S. won silver in the team figure skating event, while Russia claimed gold and Japan took bronze.

Sarah Hirshland, CEO of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee, said the organization was "disappointed by the message this decision sends."

Kamila Valieva
Lintao Zhang/Getty

"We know this case is not yet closed, and we call on everyone in the Olympic Movement to continue to fight for clean sport on behalf of athletes around the world," Hirshland said.

During the Beijing Games, which began on Feb. 4, Valieva, a first-time Olympic competitor, became the first woman to land a quad in Olympic history. The move has been described as one of the hardest jumps in all of figure skating.

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For the third Olympics in a row, Russian athletes are competing for the "Russian Olympic Committee," and not the country as a whole.

That's because the country was given an anti-doping penalty partially upheld by the International Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2020, following reports that Russia was engaged in sometimes elaborate state-sponsored doping at the 2012 and 2014 Olympics.

To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Winter Olympics, now, and the Paralympics, beginning March 4, on NBC.

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