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The International Testing Agency (ITA) has confirmed an appeal is ongoing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) lifted a provisional suspension imposed on figure skating star Kamila Valieva.

The ITA released a statement confirming Valieva had provided a sample containing trimetazidine during the 2022 Russian Figure Skating Championships in Saint Petersburg on December 25.

A World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-accredited laboratory in Stockholm confirmed an adverse analytical finding on February 8.

That was the same day the team figure skating medals were due to be awarded at Beijing 2022, leading to the suspension of the medal ceremony.

Valieva challenged a provisional suspension, which the RUSADA Disciplinary Anti-Doping Committee lifted on February 9.

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) had won in the team event, which took place on Monday (February 7), with Valieva proving pivotal to the team's success.

She led the women's singles standings in both the short programme and the free skating.

Valieva performed the quadruple jump twice - a manoeuvre that has never before been successfully landed at the Winter Olympic Games.

This controversial decision by RUSADA to lift the suspension allows Valieva to continue her participation at Beijing 2022, including training yesterday.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has appealed the decision to lift the provisional suspension through the ITA, who are responsible for drugs testing at these Games, due to the need for an outcome in the case prior to the women's singles event next week.

As it stands, Valieva will be free to compete in the women's singles event which is due to start next Tuesday (February 15). 

Should the IOC succeed in its appeal at CAS, the provisional suspension would be imposed and would prevent Valieva from competing.

This would lead to a full decision being required on the case.

Kamila Valieva was provisionally suspended on the same day as the team event medal ceremony, leading to its suspension ©Getty Images
Kamila Valieva was provisionally suspended on the same day as the team event medal ceremony, leading to its suspension ©Getty Images

"Under the World Anti-Doping Code, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the International Skating Union (ISU), RUSADA and the IOC have a right to appeal the decision to lift the provisional suspension before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)," an ITA statement said.

“The IOC will exercise its right to appeal and not to wait for the reasoned decision by RUSADA, because a decision is needed before the next competition the athlete is due to take part in (Women Single Skating, 15 February 2022).

“Following the delegation of the IOC’s anti-doping program in relation to the Olympic Games to the ITA, the ITA will lead the appeal before CAS on behalf of the IOC.

“The proceedings on the merits of the apparent anti-doping rule violation, including the athlete’s right to request the analysis of the B-sample, will be pursued by RUSADA in due course.

“The decision on the results of the ROC team in the Team Figure Skating event can be taken by the ISU only after a final decision on the full merits of the case has been taken.

“The procedure, which is initiated currently, can only address the provisional suspension.

“Given that the legal process for this case is not finally concluded, the ITA will not provide any additional comments.

"Any further information on the case will be issued in form of a public statement.”

Under the rules of the World Anti-Doping Code, Valieva is a "Protected Person", due to her being under the age of 16.

That means as "an athlete who at the time of the anti-doping rule violation: has not reached the age of sixteen" Valieva cannot officially be identified if she is guilty of an anti-doping violation.

The ITA claimed it had released the statement due to the "necessity for official information due to heightened public interest".

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