Russian skater Varieva fails drug test, Olympic fate is determined by urgent hearing

Beijing — Russian figure skater Camilla Barrieva’s right to participate in the Beijing Olympics women’s event will be determined at an emergency hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s representative International Testing Agency (ITA) said Friday that it would fight Russia’s Anti-Doping Agency’s decision to allow 15-year-old Varieva to skate. Russian agencies have tentatively banned Varieva this week because she failed a doping test in December.

Varieva is very popular at her event starting Tuesday after setting a world record this season and landing the first female quad jump at the Olympic Games.

ITA confirmed that Varieva tested positive for the banned substance trimetazidine at the Russian National Championships in St. Petersburg six weeks ago.

The Swedish Institute flagged the positive test only on Tuesday. It was postponed hours before the medal award ceremony the day after Balieva helped the Russians win the team event. It will be decided later whether the Russians will lose the gold medal at the team event.

The legal proceedings of the Varieva proceedings began with an immediate provisional ban from the Beijing Olympics imposed by a Russian agency known as RUSADA, which oversaw the tests at the National Championships.

On Wednesday, RUSADA’s disciplinary action backed her allegations to overturn the skater’s provisional ban.

The urgent hearing at the CAS will only consider the issue of provisional bans in these games, said ITA, who is prosecuting on behalf of the IOC.

“The IOC exercises the right to appeal without waiting for a reasonable decision by RUSADA, as the decision is required before the next competition in which the athlete will participate,” the testing agency said.

Varieva is at the center of the case, but at the age of 15, she is protected by the World Anti-Doping Code, a sports rulebook. Under these guidelines, she was eventually able to receive a simple rebuke.

If a minor is involved in a doping rule violation, the focus of the mandatory investigation will be on her aides such as coaches and team doctors.

“Such cases are not useful for the Games,” said IOC spokesman Mark Adams. “These proceedings need to be properly prosecuted, properly processed and due process. Otherwise, I think people will be even less confident. So everyone involved, especially the 15-year-old involved. I think it’s very important for athletes to have due process, appear to be due process, and be confident in the decisions made by people. “

Varieva may be disqualified from Russia’s national title in December, but may still be allowed to play in Beijing next week.

For the second consecutive day, Balieva exercised fast at the main link in the capital gymnasium as if nothing had happened. She was surrounded by Russian teammate Alexandra Trusova and world champion Anna Shelvakova. Both are coached by Eteri Tutberidze.

    Camilla Varieva
Camila Barrieva of Russia will participate in the training session of the 2022 Beijing Olympics in Beijing on February 11, 2022. (Anne-Christine Poujoulat / AFP via Getty Images)

During the 45-minute session, Varieva threw four quad jumps. This includes one of the potentially high scoring combinations with the triple salchow.

Despite missing the combo at the Rostelecom Cup in November, Barriera still set a world record for her free skating when she played the quad double. She also set a world record for short programs and total scores at the same Grand Prix event in Russia.

The outcome of the Olympic team event will be a much longer legal process and may prevent medals from being awarded in Beijing before the closing ceremony on February 20th.

RUSADA first investigates and makes decisions on the full benefits of doping cases. The verdict will lead to an appeal and will end up in CAS.

“The decision on the outcome of the ROC team at the team figure skating event can only be made by the ISU after the final decision on the full benefits of the case has been made,” said the ITA.

The latest doping incidents involving Russian athletes can have widespread impact on national sports programs.

Russia participates in the Beijing Olympics as ROC, which stands for Russian Olympic Committee, without national anthem or flag. This is due to the effects of long-standing doping conflicts, including the use and concealment of steroids at the 2014 Winter Olympics hosted by Russia.

Another scandal may extend the two-year ban beyond the scheduled end of December.

Graham Dunbar and James Ellingworth

Associated Press


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