On Tuesday, September 26, the Court of Arbitration for Sport will open hearings in the case of Kamila Valieva on a possible violation of anti-doping rules. Recall that in the athlete's sample dated December 25, 2021, the prohibited substance trimetazidine was found. This became known during the Beijing Olympics - after the skater won gold medals in the team tournament. Therefore, at stake is the fate of not only Valieva herself, but also other members of the national team, who may lose the title with her.
The only option in which the student Eteri Tutberidze will be able to avoid punishment is if the judges recognize the absence of negligence or minor guilt in violation of the rules. At the same time, the athlete, who at the time of the sample was not yet 16 years old, according to the WADA Code, does not even have to prove exactly how the substance got into her body. At the same time, it is not forbidden, and if it is done, it will certainly play in its favor.
Earlier, the independent disciplinary anti-doping committee RUSADA had already found the athlete innocent, but three organizations did not agree with the verdict and filed appeals. Thus, RUSADA considers it fair to reprimand the athlete, the International Skating Union (ISU) requires two to four years of disqualification, and the World Anti-Doping Agency requires a maximum period of four years.
"The ISU is of the opinion that all young athletes should be protected from doping, but such protection cannot be provided by exemption from sanctions," TASS quoted the organization's press service as saying.
In Russia, meanwhile, they do not have much hope for a fair decision by the CAS. In particular, the President of the Russian Olympic Committee Stanislav Pozdnyakov noted that the system of sports justice "is undergoing negative changes", so it is difficult to count on an impartial trial. A similar opinion is shared by the president of Sambo-70, where Valieva was brought up, Renat Laishev.
"It is unlikely that we will wait for a fair decision from the CAS. Because we know the truth as it should be. And, judging by the latest antics of everyone in the international arena, this is hard to believe. There is a 100% political component to this. We know and love Camila and understand that we and she are right. But let's believe, and we have nothing else to do," Sport24 quoted the head of the school as saying.
State Duma deputy Roman Teryushkov spoke categorically about the prospects of the proceedings, who has repeatedly called for breaking all ties with international authorities and focusing on the development of sports within the country. This time, he complained that a number of domestic sports functionaries and politicians "love the soul" of the CAS, which was given "the right to decide the fate of Russian citizens."
"As long as we listen to their arguments about the benefits of transferring Russia's sports sovereignty into the caring hands of transnational corporations of the collective West, we will never leave the status of the accused. Valieva will be punished, fans of the arbitration court will cackle, and they themselves will carry out the sentence on the territory of Russia, as they did with Ivan Kuliak. Under the guise of fighting doping, international structures have been fighting Russia for decades," Teryushkov said in a comment to Metaratings.
His colleague in the State Duma, three-time Olympic champion Irina Rodnina urged to be ready for any decision on the part of the CAS, but at the same time emphasized at least one positive outcome of the international proceedings.
"I want to finally know the full picture of what is happening. And then no one says anything. The case is shrouded in fog, "she reasonably said in a conversation with RB Sport.
One of the few who retains hope for a favorable outcome of the case and is waiting for a fair decision is Tatyana Tarasova.
"The girl is not to blame for anything. And the required four years of disqualification is grandiose madness," Tarasova said.
In turn, lawyer Alexander Dobrovinsky urged not to over-dramatize the situation around Valieva. He stressed that the athlete is not judged in the usual sense of the word, but only analyzes the circumstances of the violation of the rules of the public organization.
"You see, the difference from other proceedings is that no one is being judged here. There are some rules invented by someone that all people who want to participate in these public organizations, Games, etc., must follow ... Once again, no one will put anyone in jail, no one will be bullied. Just don't participate, for example, in the Olympic Games," the expert said in a commentary to Komsomolskaya Pravda.
Meanwhile, it became known that the interests of WADA during the meeting will be represented by a team of lawyers from the Swiss firm Kellerhals Carrard, and an independent lawyer from the UK, Graham Arthur, will speak on behalf of RUSADA. The ISU refused to name its representative, and Valieva's defender is also unknown.
According to sports lawyer Anna Antseliovich, Arthur's skill will play for Valieva to a certain extent, as he will defend the position of RUSADA that there was a minor fault or negligence of the athlete. According to Antseliovich, he is well acquainted with the details of the case, as he participated in the proceedings at the Olympic Games.
"This is a very experienced lawyer who worked for the UK Anti-Doping Agency for a long time and then opened a private practice ... Of course, his position may affect the final decision, but the main battle in CAS will still unfold between WADA lawyers and representatives of Valieva herself, "Antseliovich concluded.