17 Feb 2022
CAS OG 22/08 - CAS OG 22/09 - CAS OG 22/10 International Olympic Committee (IOC), World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) & International Skating Union (ISU) v. Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), Kamila Valieva, Russian Olympic Committee (ROC)
In February 2022 the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) has reported an anti-doping rule violation against the Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva (15) after her sample, collected on 25 December 2025, tested positive for the prohibited substance Trimetazidine.
After notification a provisional suspension was ordered on 8 Februay 2022 and consequently the Athlete was prohibited from participation in the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games.
Yet the RUSADA Disciplinary Anti-Doping Committee (DADC) decided on 9 February 2022 to lift the Athlete's provisional suspension as it established that under the Russian ADR and the WADC 2021 the minor Athlete is a Protected Person.
The DADC accepted the explanation and evidence that the prohibited substance entered the Athlete's system through the use of a contaminated product, i.e. the medication used by her grandfather.
Hereafter on 11 and 12 February the IOC, WADA and ISU appealed the DADC Decision of 9 February with the CAS Ad Hoc Division at the Beijing Olympic Games. IOC, WADA and ISU requested the Ad Hoc Panel to set aside the Appealed Decision and to re-instate the Provisional Suspension imposed by RUSADA on 8 February 2022.
The Athlete in her defence argued that:
- The source of the inadvertent contamination has been established by the DADC after careful analysis, in connection with her interacton with her grandfather, who regularly takes the medicine Trimetazidine.
- The DADC correctly had acknowledged that the Athlete is a Protected Person due to her age;
- The DADC accepted that the Athlete would not have any competitive advantages by consuming the Trimetazidine based on the medical experts' testimonies.
- Under the Rules the conditions are met in order to lift the Provisional Suspension.
RUSADA contended that the analysis in the Stockholm Lab was delayed due to pandemic-related staff shortages and is confident that the Athlete will be able to complete her submission with respect of evidenc in the proceedings before CAS whereas she has a lesser burden of proof as a Protected Person.
The ROC asserted that in the present case concrete evidence showing the source of the contamination is not required (as the Athlete is a Protected Person) and are not available (due to the undue delay in the reporting of the adverse analytical finding by the Anti-Doping Laboratory). As a result the Panel must rely on circumstantial evidence and decide to confirm the Appealed Decision if the scenario submitted by the Athlete with regard to contamination with the Prohibited Substance is more likely that the different scenario of a voluntary ingestion.
The CAS Ad Hoc Panel holds that it is uncontested that the Athlete is clearly a Protected Person under the Russian ADR and that the WADC 2021 intends to give special treatment to the Protected Persons like the Athlete.
The Panel finds that in cases involving Protected Persons, their Provisional Suspensions should be evaluated as optional Provisional Suspensions under WADC 2021 Article 7.4.2 and its progeny.
The Panel determines that the Athlete was entitled to benefit from being subject to an optional Provisional Suspension as a Protected Person and that, under the facts and circumstances, the option not to impose a Provisional Suspension should have been exercised so that she would not be prevented to compete in the Games.
Further the Panel considers in this case:
- the length of time it took for the laboratory to submit its report of an AAF involving the Athlete;
- the timing of that relative to the conduct of the Women’s Single Skating event at the Games;
- the difficulty to be faced in the Athlete not being able in
the current situation, right in the middle of the Games, to muster proof to support her defence of the ADRV being asserted against her;
- the relatively low level of the prohibited substance found
in her sample;
- the fact that she has tested negative in multiple tests before;
- after the test in question the case she has attempted to muster on contamination whether in a product or through domestic contamination, and the likely low level of sanction
she will face if found to have committed an ADRV.
The Panel deems that athletes should not be subject to the risk of serious harm occasioned by anti-doping authorities’ failure to function effectively at a high level of performance and in a manner designed to protect the integrity of the operation of the Games. Accordingly the Panel finds that the Provisional Suspension should remain lifted.
Therefore the CAS Ad Hoc Division decides on 17 February 2022:
- The Ad Hoc Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport has jurisdiction to determine the Applications filed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and International Skating Union (ISU).
- The Applications filed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and International Skating Union (ISU) are dismissed.