Five weeks after the end of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, Russian prodigy runner Kamila Valiyeva will be competing for the first time this weekend. Your doping case is still pending – and is likely to remain so for a long time to come.
The doping drama about figure skater Kamila Valiewa was the big story of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Five weeks after the end of the games, the 15-year-old Russian is making her first public appearance. She is taking part in the Channel One Cup in Saransk, Russia’s Republic of Mordovia, this weekend. Like the other representatives of her country, she is excluded from the World Championships, which are also taking place in Montpellier these days, because of the war in Ukraine.
Valiewa had tested positive for the heart drug trimetazidine at Christmas. However, this finding only became known six weeks later during the games in Beijing. Despite this, the Court of Arbitration allowed her to continue because the B sample had not yet been opened. In the team competition, Russia’s selection had won gold, not least thanks to Waliyeva, in the individual competition she fell back to fourth place after a completely unsuccessful freestyle. Both results remained in the evaluation with reservations.
The fears of doping expert Hajo Seppelt
Since then it has become quiet about the Russian miracle runner. At the beginning of the week, the IOK communications director Mark Adams said at the request of the NZZ that since the positive test had been carried out by the Russian anti-doping authority Rusada, they are pursuing the case. At the same time, Adams referred to a media release from the international testing agency mandated by the IOC, which wrote on February 11 that the case does not fall under the jurisdiction of the IOC and will therefore not be dealt with by it. There will be no further comments for the time being.
It is becoming apparent that the spectacular and highly publicized case of Kamila Valiyeva will remain pending for a long time. Rusada recently signaled that it would take its six months to open the B sample and initiate any proceedings. It can be assumed that the exclusion of Russian athletes from international competitions has not increased Rusada’s willingness to decisively press ahead with the proceedings.
In any case, it is unclear how independently Rusada will deal with Valiyeva. The German doping expert Hajo Seppelt told ARD: “We know how politically influenced the anti-doping policy in Russia is. Against the background of the war and the world political situation, will Russian anti-doping fighters ban Valiyeva or not? In Russia, she is considered a major victim of Western machinations.”
Hajo Seppelt on ARD about Valiewa: “In Russia, she is considered a major victim of Western machinations.”
Seppelt isn’t the only one who fears the case will be dragged out and politicized. It will probably be at least until August before things get moving. What will come of it is open. The Rusada is closely linked to the Russian state. In connection with the state-orchestrated doping at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Rusada was banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) from 2015 to 2018.
The case could be moved on
It seems questionable whether an objective judgment is possible under these circumstances. However, Wada and the International Skating Union will have the opportunity to challenge any acquittal and move the case forward. It will probably take a while until there is actually clarity on the Valiyeva case.