Kamila Valieva: USADA slams RUSADA for keeping doping verdict confidential

Kamila Valieva at Winter Olympics

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has criticised the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) after they revealed they will refuse to release the results of Kamila Valieva’s doping investigation. 

Valieva tested positive for the banned substance trimetazidine at the Russian national championships in December 2021 but went on to help the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) win a gold medal in the team event at the Beijing Winter Olympics back in February. 

Despite speculation over whether she would be able to continue competing, the figure skater, who was 15 at the time, was allowed to compete in the women’s singles event and finished fourth. 

Citing the fact that the Russian athlete was just 15 at the time of failing the drugs test, RUSADA said that Valieva is a “protected person” and, therefore, all details will remain confidential. 

“All processes and procedures related to the Results Management, including the charge and the final resolution of the matter, are confidential,” read a statement from the agency. 

“Strictly following the principles of international and Russian anti-doping standards, as well as taking into account the facts and circumstances of the case, RUSADA does not intend to announce the date of the hearings, the decision or other details in the case of the figure skater – a member of the ROC team.”

How has USADA reacted to the news? 

USADA has reacted to RUSADA’s decision and stressed that it makes a “mockery” of the entire process. 

Speaking to insidethegames, USASA chief executive Travis Tygart said: “If she is rightfully exonerated, then there is nothing to hide and it should be made public. 

“Certainly, keeping the decision and facts secret makes a mockery of the whole process and there is no wonder athletes and the public do not trust the global WADA anti-doping system.

“WADA, ISU and the IOC should immediately announce an appeal any such decision and hold an open process, as the rules provide so that there is confidence in the final outcome. 

“Short of this, it’s impossible for athletes or the public to believe what happened at the 2022 Beijing Games was real and not just another fraudulent win by the Russians like so many before, as the evidence has clearly shown.”

Kamila Valieva at Winter Olympics
BEIJING, CHINA – FEBRUARY 06: Kamila Valieva of Team ROC reacts during the Women Single Skating Short Program Team Event on day two of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at Capital Indoor Stadium on February 06, 2022 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

What happened to Kamila Valieva? 

Valieva started this year’s Winter Olympics by helping the ROC win gold in the team event –– becoming the first woman to ever land a quadruple jump at an Olympic Games. 

However, the medal ceremony was postponed after allegations of possible doping. 

A then 15-year-old Valieva was initially suspended but had her ban revoked by RUSADA

BEIJING, CHINA – FEBRUARY 07: Kamila Valieva of Team ROC skates during the Women Single Skating Free Skating Team Event on day three of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at Capital Indoor Stadium on February 07, 2022 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) eventually ruled that the Russian would be able to compete due to “exceptional circumstances.”

Despite being the pre-tournament favourite for the singles event, Valieva finished fourth and was reduced to tears at the end of her routine. 

In the end, ROC’s Anna Shcherbakova won gold, while teammate Alexandra Trusova took silver. Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto claimed bronze. 

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