Russian figure skater banned for doping; U.S. takes Beijing gold

The Court of Arbitration for Sport on Monday banned Russian teenager Kamila Valieva for four years and stripped her — and her team — of medals earned at the 2022 Beijing Olympics, meaning that the United States figure skating team will be awarded the gold medal.

Valieva’s positive test for a banned heart medication surfaced in the middle of the Beijing Olympics, compelling the International Olympic Committee not to present any medals pending hearings.

Valieva’s four-year disqualification is retroactive to Dec. 25, 2021, meaning she’ll be eligible for the 2026 Winter Games in Milano-Cortina, Italy. Valieva, however, must forfeit “any titles, awards, medals, profits, prizes and appearance money” the now 17-year-old earned after her positive doping sample.

CAS upheld the appeals of the World Anti-Doping Agency that Valieva be banned after a Russian tribunal cleared her of blame, ruling that as a 15-year-old she couldn’t be held responsible because she was a minor at the time and therefor a “protected person.” Valieva said she accidentally took heart medication, Trimetazidine, belonging to her grandfather.

“There is no basis under the rules to treat them any differently from an adult athlete,” CAS arbitrators wrote in Monday’s ruling.

Japan will be awarded silver in the team figure skating event from 2022 and Canada, which finished fourth at the time, will be awarded bronze.

Valieva has not competed internationally since the Beijing Olympics. She turns 18 in April.