Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva will be allowed to compete for a second gold medal at the Winter Olympics despite failing a pre-Games drug test.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled Monday that the 15-year-old Valieva, the favourite for the women’s individual gold, does not need to be provisionally suspended ahead of a full hearing into her positive test for the heart drug trimetazidine. The positive test was Dec. 25.
The Russian team can still aim for the first women’s figure skating podium sweep in Olympic history. The event starts with the short programme Tuesday and concludes Thursday with the free skate. Valieva is the favourite to win gold.
The ruling only addresses whether Valieva can keep skating before her case is resolved. It doesn’t decide the fate of the one gold medal that she has already won.
The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee said it’s disappointed by the message the decision to allow Valieva to compete send.
USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland said athletes are being denied the right to know they’re competing on a level playing field. She added that it’s part of a systemic and pervasive disregard for clean sport by Russia.