WADA welcomes Court of Arbitration for Sport decision in case of Russian Olympic Committee figure skater

WADA welcomes the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to uphold its appeal and impose a four-year period of ineligibility on the Russian Olympic Committee figure skater, Kamila Valieva, as well as disqualify her results from the date of the sample collection on 25 December 2021, including all her results during the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing. WADA took this appeal to CAS in the interests of fairness for athletes and clean sport and we believe that has been delivered through this decision.  

The doping of children is unforgivable. Doctors, coaches or other support personnel who are found to have provided performance-enhancing substances to minors should face the full force of the World Anti-Doping Code. Indeed, WADA encourages governments to consider passing legislation – as some have done already – making the doping of minors a criminal offence.  

On 24 January 2024, WADA’s Intelligence and Investigations Department published the report from ‘Operation Refuge’, a broad analysis and examination of doping among minors in sport. The report describes in detail the deep trauma and isolation many child athletes experience following a positive doping test. The report recommends that a greater emphasis be placed on education and the provision of specific policies and procedures for dealing with minors.   

WADA understands the frustration of the affected parties in relation to the time it took to complete this case. Indeed, WADA shared those frustrations, which is why, at every stage of the process, including during the first instance proceedings in Russia, WADA pushed hard for a timely resolution. 

Note: The impact that this disqualification of results will have on the outcome of the team figure skating competition at Beijing 2022 is a matter for the International Skating Union and the International Olympic Committee.