Russian Skater Valieva Blames Failed Drug Test on Grandfather’s Medication

(BEIJING) — Kamila Valieva’s lawyers say the Russian skater failed a doping test before the Olympics because of contamination from medication her grandfather was taking.

Denis Oswald says part of the 15-year-old’s defense is “contamination which happened with a product her grandfather was taking.”

At a Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing, the argument was heard late on Sunday night. The CAS judges ruled Monday that Valieva can compete in the women’s individual event despite testing positive for a banned heart medication.

She is able to skate. However, she will be under investigation for several months. She helped the Russian team win gold last week and is the favorite in the women’s event starting Tuesday.

After the Olympics, Russian anti-doping agencies will investigate Valieva’s entourage. Even if Valieva is found not guilty by Russia’s investigation, she will most likely appeal the decision.

Oswald, a veteran sports lawyer who investigated Sochi Olympics doping scandal cases for the IOC, says lawyers for Valieva “presented elements that brought some doubts about her guilt.”

The CAS panel cited many reasons why she was allowed to skate. These included her minor status, potential career harm, and delay in notifying Russia of the positive result from a Dec. 25 sample.

Even if Valieva wins another medal in the event, International Olympic Committee stated that no medals would be given until the investigation is complete.


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