Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva handed four-year ban for doping after 2022 Winter Olympics gold medal

Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva has received a four-year doping ban, effectively stripping the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) of its gold medal in the team event from the 2022 Beijing Winter Games nearly two years ago.

In its long-awaited ruling, the highest court in sport found Valieva guilty of committing an anti-doping rule violation that rattled the Beijing Olympics and frustrated competitors, who are still waiting for their medals from the event to be allocated.

"Kamila Valieva is found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation and sanctioned with a four-year period of ineligibility commencing on 25 December 2021," said the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Kamila Valieva in action at the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Kamila Valieva in action at the Beijing Winter Olympics. Photo credit: Getty Images

The court added that all competitive results achieved since that date are voided, including the gold medal she helped ROC win in the team event at the 2022 Games.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), one of the parties that brought the case to CAS, has welcomed the decision, describing it as a victory for fair sport.

"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," it said.

The CAS panel has determined there was no scope for Valieva, who was 15 at the time of the offence, to be treated with more leniency than an adult found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation.

Valieva tested positive for the banned substance trimetazidine, which prevents angina, at the Russian national championships in December 2021. Her team said the positive test could have been due to a mix-up with her grandfather's heart medication.

The result of the positive doping test was only made known a day after she helped the ROC win team gold at Beijing in February 2022.

Valieva, who became the first woman to land a quadruple jump at the Olympics, was favourite to win the singles gold, but missed out on an individual medal, after dropping to fourth place with an error-laden free skate.

During the Beijing Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided no medals for the team figure skating event would be presented, until Valieva's case had been resolved.

The United States took silver behind the Russians, with Japan getting the bronze and Canada placing fourth.

American figure skaters have repeatedly expressed their frustration over the delay in receiving the team medals.