Winter Olympics: Kamila Valieva’s coaching team to be investigated by WADA

Kamila Valieva at the Winter Olympics 2022

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has confirmed it will investigate the adults working with Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva –– who failed a drugs test prior to competing at this year’s Winter Olympics. 

Valieva tested positive for the banned substance trimetazidine in December, which is classed by WADA as a cardiac metabolic modulator and has been proven to improvise physical efficiency. 

The 15-year-old was tipped for women’s individual glory ahead of the Games and won team gold in Beijing on Tuesday. However, the Russian Olympic Committee’s medal ceremony was suspended because of “legal issues.” 

Valieva, who is the reigning European champion, will hear on Monday if she is allowed to compete in the individual women’s event on Tuesday. 

The International Olympic Committee called on WADA to investigate Valieva’s entourage and the anti-doping agency is now looking into coaches, doctors and other adults surrounding the Russian. 

Who is Kamila Valieva?

Valieva is a Russian figure-skater, who is the current world record holder for the women’s short program, free skating and total scores. 

The teenager has set nine world records so far in her career and became the first female skater to ever land a quadruple jump at the Olympics earlier this week. 

Amid the ongoing investigation into her failed drug test, Valieva has continued to train, despite widespread media attention.

Who are Valieva’s team? 

The Russian has been spotted training with coach Eteri Tutberidze, who is among those considered part of Valieva’s entourage. 

Tutberidze spoke to Russian state television briefly, where he stressed that the teenage prodigy was “clean and innocent.” 

Other coaches include Sergei Dudakov, Daniil Gleikhengauz and team doctor Filipp Shvetksy. 

All are from the Sambo-70 club, which has produced a number of successful skaters, including Pyeongchang 2018 champion Alina Zagitova and Yulia Lipnitskaya –– who also won team gold at the age of 15 in Sochi eight years ago.

What happens next? 

IOC spokesman Mark Adams has said a medal ceremony for the team event will not take place until the outcome of the CAS hearing and that he wanted a resolution as quickly as possible. 

The CAS hearing will only be about the lifting of Valieva’s provisional suspension, which was imposed by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency. 

WADA and the International Skating Union have now appealed against this decision to let her continue. 

The CAS panel will consist of president Fabio Ludica of Italy, the USA’s Jeffrey Benz and Slovenia’s Vesna Bergant Rakocevic. 

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