Kamila Valieva: Russian figure skater given four-year ban for doping

Russian athletes were only allowed to compete at the Beijing Games under the neutral name of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).

That was after Wada banned Russia from all international sport for four years from 2019 following a doping scandal.

Cas later reduced the ban and ruled that Russian athletes could compete at the Olympics and other international events but the team could not use the Russian name, flag, or anthem.

A Wada investigation in 2016 found Russia operated a state-sponsored doping programme for four years across the “vast majority” of summer and winter Olympic sports.

Last month the International Olympic Committee announced it would allow Russian athletes to compete as neutrals at the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris – though that followed a ban on Russian competitors following the invasion of Ukraine.

Travis Tygart, chief executive of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), told BBC Sport: “It’s been a long time coming and justice delayed and certainly justice denied. There are athletes out there who will never get their moment on the podium in front of the world during the Games.

“Of course, our hearts also go out to Valieva. How does a young girl at that age get a hold of this controlled drug? You have to look at the Russia system. And here we go again, unfortunately, with them trying to hijack the Games and at the expense of a young woman.”

Tygart was also critical of Wada and looking ahead to this summer’s Olympics, added: “I’m afraid we’re at the last thread of confidence. And here we go again, into Paris with Russia potentially tainting those Games by sending athletes who haven’t been properly tested.”

Wada director general Olivier Niggli said: “We are very concerned and remain very vigilant about what’s going on in Russia.

“What’s more of a concern, actually, to me, is the fact that the first decision rendered by a panel in Russia was so wrong. And that’s what Cas has proven today. And that, you know, doesn’t give a good message in terms of how serious they are treating the problem.”

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