Beijing Olympics Figure Skating

Kamila Valieva, of the Russian Olympic Committee, will have heard doping case heard on Sunday. Bernat Armangue/Associated Press

BEIJING — Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva will find out Monday if she can compete at the Olympics in the women’s competition, which starts a day later.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said Saturday the expedited hearing on Valieva’s doping case will be held Sunday night in Beijing, with a ruling by Monday afternoon.

The 15-year-old skater, the favorite to win the gold medal, broke down in tears after an emotional practice session Saturday.

At the court’s closed-door hearing, which will be held by video link, lawyers for the Russian Olympic team and Valieva can ask the three judges to listen to a personal statement from her.

“If she attends I assume it will be by video conference,” CAS director general Matthieu Reeb said at the court’s hotel base. “It will be a long night. It could be four or five hours.”

Valieva’s status at the Olympics became unclear after she tested positive for the banned heart medication trimetazidine in Russia in December. She won a gold medal in the team event five days ago, before the test result was known, and is scheduled to compete as an individual Tuesday.


On Saturday, Valieva fell during practice on a triple axel – a jump she typically executes without a problem – while doing a run-through of her short program. She later landed two combos, a triple flip-triple toe loop and a triple lutz-triple toe loop before skating to the boards and giving her coach, Eteri Tutberidze, an emotional hug.

Earlier Saturday, CAS confirmed it has received appeals from both the International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency challenging Valieva’s right to compete.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency gave her an automatic ban after testing positive. A day later, RUSADA lifted the provisional ban. The IOC filed an urgent appeal, which the Court of Arbitration of Sport will hear Sunday.

“It was sending a signal that we want this solved as quickly as it can be,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams.

The legal process is unusually complex because of Valieva’s status as a minor, which gives her protections in the anti-doping rule book.

Because Valieva is only 15, her ultimate penalty could be as little as a reprimand. Her entourage of coaches and doctors face more scrutiny because the World Anti-Doping Code mandates they are automatically put under investigation.


Valieva tested positive in a sample given on Dec. 25, when she won the Russian national championships.

That sample was the responsibility of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, known as RUSADA. It was sent to a WADA-approved laboratory in Stockholm, Sweden, for analysis.

On Monday – hours after Valieva’s skating helped the Russians win the Olympic team event – the Stockholm lab notified RUSADA the test was positive.

The three CAS judges, from Italy, the United States and Slovenia, will consider only the request to re-impose the interim ban on Valieva. It will be chaired by Milan-based lawyer Fabio Iudica.

• Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron broke their own world record in the rhythm dance at the Beijing Olympics, scoring 90.83 points to begin the ice dance event. That gave the four-time world champs from France a cushion over Russian rivals Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov heading into the free dance.

Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue were in third, and their American teammates Madison Chock and Evan Bates were in fourth place. The medals will be decided with the free dance Monday in Beijing.


SKELETON: Germany has a new sliding champion. Hannah Neise has never won a World Cup medal. Or a medal at the world championships. Or a medal from the European championships. But she has the Olympic gold medal now.

Neise is the Olympic skeleton women’s champion, a bit of a surprise winner. The 21-year-old who won the junior world title last year became the first German woman to capture the gold medal in Olympic skeleton by rallying in the final two heats.

SKI JUMPING: Marius Lindvik of Norway won Olympic gold in ski jumping on the large hill by holding off Ryoyu Kobayashi of Japan. Lindvik jumped 140 meters on his final jump and earned 296.1 points overall to become the first Norwegian to win the event since Toralf Engan in 1964.

SPEEDSKATING: Gao Tingyu thrilled the host country by becoming the first Chinese man to claim an Olympic gold medal in speedskating, winning the 500 meters. Gao added to the bronze medal he took in the 500 at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.

The silver went to Cha Min Kyu of South Korea, whose time of 34.39 gave him a matching medal to the silver he won four years ago in Pyeongchang.

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING: The Russian cross-country skiing team started strong and finished strong Saturday in the women’s four-person relay, winning another Olympic gold medal.

Yulia Stupak broke away early with nine women chasing. On the next leg, Natalia Nepryaeva was chased down by Katharina Hennig of Germany.

The Germans briefly took the lead on the last lap, with Russian skier Veronika Stepanova just behind Sofie Krehl. But Stepanova pulled away on the final climb and won in 53 minutes, 41 seconds.

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