IOC appeals to reinstate Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva's suspension for banned substance

The International Olympic Committee is appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to reinstate the provisional suspension of Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva after she tested positive for a banned substance, according to the International Testing Agency, a third-party group that manages the IOC's anti-doping programs.

The ITA confirmed in a statement on Friday morning that Valieva, 15, tested positive for trimetazidine in December. It was the first official confirmation of the details of the case since it was reported on Wednesday.

Trimetazidine is a drug normally used to treat heart-related chest pain. The World Anti-Doping Agency prohibits its use both in and out of competition.

According to the ITA statement, the sample was collected by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) on Dec. 25, 2021, during Russian Figure Skating Championships in St. Petersburg, where Valieva won gold. The positive sample was returned by a WADA-accredited lab in Sweden on Feb. 8 -- a day after Valieva and her teammates won gold in the Olympic team event.

RUSADA then provisionally suspended Valieva, which would have prevented her from continuing to compete in the Olympics. The ITA was informed of this provisional suspension but did not disclose it because Valieva is considered a "protected person" due to her age.

Valieva then challenged the provisional suspension, which the RUSADA Disciplinary Anti-Doping Committee lifted on Feb. 9, allowing her to compete in the women's singles competition, which begins Tuesday. Valieva is favored to win gold in that event.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has an on-site panel in Beijing to hear urgent cases. According to the ITA statement, the court will rule only on Valieva's provisional suspension. The full merits of the case will be decided later. Once that final decision is made, the International Skating Union will determine whether the results of the team event will stand. If Russia is stripped of its gold medal, Team USA could move up to gold, Japan silver and Canada bronze.