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Valieva case: Acquitted, but the medal was taken away

Date: June 5, 2023 Time: 03:50:41

Do you remember the shameful story of how the bobsleigh Alexander Zubkov, by decision of the Savelovsky Moscow City Court, began to be called the Olympic champion within the city or district limits? That is, for the world community, you are an anti-doping rogue, and for internal use, you are still an Olympic champion. Convenient: you don’t have to give away prizes and cars here. Since then, there has been a lot of shame, those little things just drowned. But everything indicates that now Kamila Valieva is also destined to become a regional champion.

What happened?

On the evening of January 13, it was announced that the Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA limited itself to the minimum punishment for figure skater Kamila Valieva – canceled her results only at the 2021 Russian Championships. And what will happen next?

legal casuistry

It was in that Chechen Republic, on December 25 of the year before in St. Petersburg, that Valieva passed a doping test, in which the banned drug trimetazidine was found. The meaning of the verdict of the RUSADA disciplinary committee is as follows: yes, there was doping, but the fact that it entered Valieva’s body is not her fault or negligence. Therefore, taking the gold of the St. Petersburg championship from Camila and leaving the figure skater alone.

RUSADA is no longer an independent body, as it was in the times of Ganus and Pakhnotskaya, it is a politically engaged office. An important nuance: the announcement of the RUSADA decision has been delayed since the end of September! Then they did not decide: we found out about this decision… from the AMA. From a press release posted on the agency’s global website on January 13. RUSADA, on the other hand, remains silent, referring to the secret of the “Valiyeva case” as a minor: at the time of the rape, she was not yet 16 years old. However, the AMA did not keep the new information secret and announced our agency’s verdict to the whole world.

Photo source: Russian Figure Skating Federation (FFKKR)

And what has changed?

Yes, in general, nothing. Regardless, Valieva’s fate will now be decided by the Lausanne Court of Arbitration for Sport. It’s just that WADA’s previous claim to the CAS was based on the fact that RUSADA, having expired all the deadlines, did not make any decision on this doping case, and now, albeit with a long delay, such a decision has appeared. And, apparently, we will have to protest. Legal casuistry, nothing more.

RUSADA is no longer famous

Why did RUSADA need this belated “excuse for internal use”? Probably to improve his own reputation.

After all, the agency is also disqualified: In theory, its two-year term expired in December 2022, but the AMA is in no rush to restore RUSADA’s rights.

Did Valieva buy time? They say that three months have passed since WADA filed a case with CAS and now they have to start over.

Maybe so, but who told you that the option “the later the better” is in the hands of Valieva? Yes, this gives him the opportunity to continue skating in national tournaments (Russia is cut off from international tournaments by other sanctions, due to well-known events), but the ice age of single skaters, as you know, is short.

Let’s say, imagine this scenario: if the CAS finally disqualifies Kamila, and the disqualification will be counted from the moment of the verdict (this is required by WADA, which insists on a 4-year term), who knows if Valieva will want to return. to big sports later? And, most importantly, can she? The example of Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, who at 26 calmly spins triple axes, of course, inspires, but Tuktamysheva is the only one like that. Exception to the rule.

Trusova’s unexpected gold

So it turns out that on this “Friday the 13th” one thing has changed – the distribution of medals for the year before the last Russian championship. Valieva’s gold will go to Alexandra Trusova, silver to Anna Shcherbakova and bronze to Adelia Petrosyan, who later placed fourth in St. Petersburg.

For Trusova, this unexpected title, oddly enough, will be the loudest in her career. With all the famous Sasha quads, she has not yet won anything bigger than the Grand Prix and World Junior Championships stages, at the Olympics, World Championships and European Championships – a maximum of silver. Valieva, for her part, will lose her only title of country champion -remember that in 2020 and 2022, Kamila was second in the Czech Republic-. After Shcherbakova and Sofia Akatieva, respectively.

Photo source: Russian Figure Skating Federation (FFKKR)

But this, as you understand, is nonsense. Here, medals of a completely different scale are at stake, including Olympic medals; After all, the awarding of the winners of the team tournament in Beijing 2022 has not yet taken place. It also depends on the CAS: either Russia’s victory will be officially recognized, or the US team will be declared the champion.

So now Alexandra Trusova is the champion of the country, Anna Shcherbakova is the silver medalist, Adelia Petrosyan is the bronze medalist, and Elizaveta Tuktamysheva is selected for the Euros and, possibly, the Olympics.

Trusova and Shcherbakov, if they suffered image loss, are negligible. Regardless, Sasha and Anya came back from the Olympics with medals, ahead of Camila in the individual tournament.

But Tuktamysheva seemed to have run out of an honestly earned (as we now know) ticket to Beijing. And he lost, perhaps, the chance of his life.

As Natalya Maryanchik rightly points out in her article, of course, they will not hold a new Olympiad for Lisa’s sake. But in theory, she may well go to a civil court with a claim for compensation for economic and moral damages.

Therefore, one more last question: when will there be something significant in the “Valiyeva case”? When will the situation begin to clear up?

The answer is contained in the same WADA press release: the world agency requested the case materials from the Russian side, roughly speaking, the evidence on the basis of which RUSADA acquitted Valieva. And when they are received (you can, of course, delay with this, but then what was the point of declaring your verdict?), The “Valiyeva case” will finally begin in earnest.

Emotions are nothing, evidence is everything.

You can trade yells as much as you want, “I don’t think she can!” therefore, and “every Russian eats!” from there. They are just tremors in the air that mean nothing to CAS. You need proof. And only having learned about these evidences, it will be possible to talk about the coming punishment or justification.

Still, “Thank you Grandpa”?

It seems that Russia intends to stick to the same version as in February, during the Beijing Games: trimetazidine entered Valieva’s body quite by accident, through the notorious “grandfather’s cup”, which she took this drug for the heart as prescribed by a physician. Although this, again, is a conjecture, which can only be confirmed or refuted by real materials from the investigation.

To put it in judicial language: so far we only have requests from the parties to the conflict. The fact that the “prosecutors” of the AMA demand 4 years for Valieva has been known since November, now we have also learned the initial position of our “lawyers”, it is not a complete excuse, but a disqualification for a single day.

We are waiting for evidence and testimony.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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