Originally Published: 29 JAN 24 09:12 ET
Updated: 29 JAN 24 10:45 ET
By George Ramsay and Ben Morse, CNN
(CNN) — Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva has been found guilty of an anti-doping violation by Switzerland’s Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and has received a four-year ban from competitions.
The ban, which ends a long-running saga between anti-doping bodies and the 17-year-old Valieva, is backdated to December 25, 2021, the date of the sample collection.
Following the figure skating team event at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, it emerged that the then-15-year-old had tested positive for trimetazidine, a heart medication which can boost endurance.
In its announcement on Monday, CAS said that the ban includes “the disqualification [of] all competitive results” achieved by Valieva since the positive test.
In Beijing, Valieva’s Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) team had finished first ahead of the US and Japan – with Canada finishing fourth – and no medals were subsequently awarded due to the doping controversy.
In its statement, CAS said that it had no “scope” to decide what will happen to the final standings of the team event, a responsibility that relies with the International Skating Union (ISU).
“The consequences linked to the retroactive disqualification of Ms Valieva from past events, including from the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, were not within the scope of this arbitration procedure and will have to be examined by the sports organisations concerned,” CAS said.
CNN Sport has contacted the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the ISU, the Japanese Olympic Committee, the Canadian Olympic Committee, and the Russian Olympic Committee for further comment.
On Monday, US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) chief Travis Tygart said: “While any sense of true justice has been denied by the unbelievable and unnecessary delay in this case, we are incredibly pleased for clean athletes that this sad saga has finally come to an end and hope they can find joy and satisfaction in the fact that their long wait for justice is over.”
Meanwhile, Sarah Hirshland, the CEO of the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), said that the decision is a “significant win not only for Team USA athletes but also for athletes worldwide who practice fair play and advocate for clean sport.”
In December 2022, a Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) commission said that Valieva bore no “fault or negligence” for the positive test from the previous year, while the skater has also said that the drug was ingested accidentally.
However, RUSADA’s ruling was appealed by the IOC and the International Skating Union (ISU), and even a portion of the decision was appealed by RUSADA itself.
RUSADA had changed its initial stance and sought a punishment that “may include or be limited to a reprimand” for Valieva, CAS announced in February last year.
According to Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, Alexander Kogan, director general of the Russian Figure Skating Federation, said on Monday that he still believes his athletes to be the Olympic champions in the team event.
Russian athletes were competing as neutral athletes at the Winter Olympics in Beijing due to a previous ban for doping non-compliance.
In its latest announcement, CAS said that the decision to ban Valieva for four years is “final and binding,” explaining that the parties can appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal “within 30 days on limited grounds.”
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said that it “welcomes” the decision from CAS, adding that “the doping of children is unforgivable.”
CNN’s Jill Martin, Thomas Schlachter and Anna Chernova contributed to reporting.
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**This image is for use with this specific article only** Kamila Valieva performs at the Megasport Arena in Moscow in November.
Sefa Karacan/Anadolu/Getty Images
29 Jan 24