Russia reacts strongly to four-year ban on Valieva for doping

Moscow, Jan 30 (UNI) The recent decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) regarding Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva has sparked strong reactions from Russia, local media reported on Tuesday.

Dmitry Peskov, the Press Secretary for the Russian President, voiced his concerns, stating, “From my point of view, of course, (the decision) is politicized.”

Valieva received a four-year ban on Monday. “Kamila Valieva is found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation and sanctioned with a four-year period of ineligibility commencing on 25 December 2021,” CAS said in a statement.

At Beijing 2022, Valieva became the first female skater to land a quadruple jump in Olympic competition, helping Russia secure team gold.

The next day, Valieva was told she had tested positive before the Games for trimetazidine, a drug used to treat angina. However, doubt surrounds the value of trimetazidine due in particular to its “numerous side effects”.

In her defense, Valieva blamed “contamination by cutlery” shared with her grandfather, who was treated with trimetazidine after receiving an artificial heart, and who drove her to training every day.

Oleg Matytsin, the current Russian Sports Minister, urged the International Skating Union (ISU) to remain independent and unbiased in its decision-making process. He emphasized Russia’s commitment to anti-doping efforts while cautioning against biased treatment of athletes.

Former Russian sports minister Pavel Kolobkov lamented the severity of the verdict, calling it “savage” in relation to Valieva’s age. He emphasized the rarity of doping violations in figure skating and urged a careful examination of the arguments presented by the Russian side.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) criticized the CAS sanction, stating that it exceeded the measures proposed during the appeal process.

In a statement, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) emphasized that the results of the team competitions at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games should remain unaffected by Valieva’s case. The ROC pledged to take appropriate legal measures to protect Russian interests.

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