Thomas Bach Says IOC Had to Respect CAS Ruling to Keep Valieva in Olympic Games
08:06 GMT 18.02.2022 (Updated: 18:44 GMT 19.10.2022)
© Sputnik / Григорий Сысоев / Go to the mediabankThe Russian Olympic Committee's Kamila Valieva competes in the women's singles skating short programme during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
© Sputnik / Григорий Сысоев/
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decided to let Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva continue taking part in the 2022 Beijing Olympics, after a December doping test, taken well before the competition, came back positive while she was helping her team to win a gold.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) did not want Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva to take part in the Beijing Games further, but the ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) allowing her participation had to be respected, IOC chief Thomas Bach said on Friday.
“We lost the court case so we have to respect the rule of law because if we do not respect it, if we abandon the rule of law, there are no international sports anymore,” Bach told a press conference.
He insisted that the investigation into Valieva’s doping allegations is of exceptional importance and that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was qualified to conduct it.
“I have many years' experience of having had to listen to too many lies, and too many explanations of doping cases, to know that doping very rarely happens by the athletes alone,” Bach explained.
In the meantime, WADA said on Friday that it believes that the decision of the CAS to allow Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva to compete in individual competitions at the Beijing Olympics was a violation of the World Anti-Doping Code.
"The reasoning part of the decision confirms that a panel of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decided to ignore the clear and unequivocal provisions of the World Anti-Doping Code regarding the criteria for lifting a mandatory provisional suspension," WADA said in a statement.
According to WADA, the court decision marked an optional, rather than mandatory provisional suspension for "protected persons" (athletes under 16). WADA claimed in a statement that a precedent has now been created whereby athletes under 16 can compete without clarifying the circumstances of obtaining a positive doping test.
In February, the International Testing Agency said that Valieva's test, which was performed by a laboratory accredited by WADA on 25 December, contained a banned substance called trimetazidine. The announcement came as the figure skater helped Russia win a gold in a group event, resulting in the award ceremony being postponed indefinitely.
The CAS eventually allowed Valieva to participate in Olympic individual competitions despite a complaint from the IOC, WADA, and the International Skating Union.
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Valieva missed out on a podium appearance after coming fourth in the individual competition on Wednesday 17 February. The Beijing Olympic Games are due to end on Sunday 20 February.