Russian skater Valieva to testify in doping case hearing – Orange County Register

Via DAVE SKRETTARelated press

BEIJING (AP) – Figure skater Kamila Valieva will testify by video at an appeal hearing on Sunday that will decide whether the 15-year-old Russian star can compete at the Beijing OIympics. accept the ongoing doping case.

Just 30 minutes before the hearing was scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m. in Beijing, the Court of Arbitration General Director General Matthieu Reeb said Valieva had planned to speak by video with the panel in A case has wreaked havoc on an acrobatic sport at the Olympics. .

“The athlete will be online and she will testify,” Reeb said. “We assume she will speak in Russian, and we have an interpreter.”

Three CAS judges listen to arguments during a closed session in a conference room at a hotel in Beijing. The lawyers and officials of the parties involved in the case were in the city hosting the Winter Olympics and from Switzerland. Reeb said witnesses and experts will also be involved.

The International Olympic Committee, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Skating Union have protested the Russian anti-doping agency’s decision to lift the temporary ban and try to get Valieva to compete in competition. her main case.

Valieva’s positive test result for the banned heart drug was flagged last Monday by a laboratory in Sweden – after she helped the Russians win the team event – by a laboratory in Sweden six weeks after the sample was collected in St.Petersburg, Russia.

Reeb said the ruling is expected to be announced in Beijing on Monday afternoon.

That was just over 24 hours before Valieva’s next scheduled Olympic event – the women’s individual competition. She would be the favorites if allowed to skate, and her main challengers would be her two Russian teammates.

The previous Sunday, the teenager at the center of Russia’s latest doping scandal appeared to be the only one who didn’t say anything about it.

Valieva continued to practice amid a sea of ​​media and camera crews as the court prepared for an emergency hearing scheduled for the night.

Valieva has not missed a scheduled training session since her positive drug test result. On Monday, the defending European champion helped Russian skaters win a team gold medal with a dynamic freestyle skate in which she became the first woman to hit the quad jump. in the Olympic competition.

On several occasions, the stress appeared to have worried Valieva, including during Saturday’s practice when she fell and tearfully hugged her swaddled coach, Eteri Tutberidze.

“Kamila is a strong girl,” suggested Russian ice dancer Nikita Katsalapov, who, along with her partner, Victoria Sinitsina, tried to give Valieva some much-needed support.

On Sunday, Valieva took the 26th starting place out of 30 competitors.

“Victoria has a few minutes to share a few words with her,” Katsalapov said. “(Victoria) asked her to, like, calm down a bit, even if it’s a difficult situation around her right now.”

Valieva has yet to speak to the media since the post-gold Russia press conference, when the seemingly unstoppable star looked like a precocious teenager little by little. Between questions, she took pictures and texted, while squeezing the plush mascot presented to each medalist.

“We all did a great job,” she said. “I am very proud of my team.”

Now, their gold medals are all in the balance, which cannot be decided until after the Olympics are over.

Most critics on social media largely support Valieva, instead expressing anger at the Russian coaches and administrators responsible for her health. That includes Tutberidze, who also coaches teammates Alexandra Trusova and Anna Shcherbakova, and who has gained a reputation for using up and discarding her young athletes. Russian skater Valieva to testify in doping case hearing – Orange County Register

Huynh Nguyen

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