Teenage Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva has been cleared to continue competing at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics despite a failed drug test.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) ruled that Valieva’s provisional suspension could be lifted, meaning the 15-year-old is free to go for gold in the women’s individual event tomorrow.
But Valieva remains under investigation over the failed test in December and could yet lose any medals won at these Games, including in last week’s team figure skating success.
Cas said it ruled on the “fundamental principles of fairness, proportionality, irreparable harm and the relative balance of interests between the applicants and the athlete.
“In particularly the panel considered that preventing the athlete from competing at the Olympic Games would cause her irreparable harm in these circumstances.”
Valieva is the poster girl for the sport who has lit up the rink with rarely seen quadruple axel jumps and holds the world record in the individual event.
The doping case hanging over the child star has cast a shadow over the Winter Olympics and inflamed long-running tensions with Russia over alleged doping.
She returned a sample on 25 December that tested positive for a banned anti-angina medication, trimetazidine.
But the sample was only tested last week, which Cas general secretary Matthieu Reeb said had been a factor in its decision.
“The late notification is extremely unfortunate as it affects not only the athlete but also the organisers of the Olympic Winter Games,” he said.
“In other words we would not have this case and we would not be here if these anti-doping testing procedures had been completed in one week or 10 days as generally the case for example at the Olympic Games.”