Beijing Olympics Figure Skating

Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva gets instructions from her coach, Eteri Tutberidze, during a training session Sunday at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Valieva is waiting to find out if she’ll be banned from the women’s competition that starts Tuesday because of a positive test for a prohibited medication. David J. Phillip/Associated Press

BEIJING — After a marathon doping hearing that ended early Monday morning, 15-year-old Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva awaits to hear whether she can compete for the gold medal in the women’s event at the Beijing Olympics.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing at a hotel in Beijing wrapped up Monday after 3 a.m. local time, and the judges began to deliberate after nearly six hours of online testimony. An announcement is expected Monday afternoon, around 30 hours before competition begins.

Valieva is the heavy favorite for the gold medal when the women’s event begins with the short program Tuesday. She has set world-record scores in her first season in senior competition and landed the first quadruple jump by a woman at the Olympics.

Her Olympic push was thrown into turmoil last week when a drug-testing lab in Sweden reported the sample she gave at the Russian nationals on Dec. 25 contained the heart medication trimetazidine, which is banned in sports.

The case has prompted concern for the welfare of Valieva and other child athletes, and questions over the Olympic status of Russia, which is already banned from having its anthem and flag at the Games because of past doping cases.

Valieva’s two main rivals for gold are her own teammates, Alexandra Trusova and Anna Shcherbakova. All three share the same coach, Eteri Tutberidze, who is a focus of two investigations from the World Anti-Doping Agency and the Russian anti-doping agency to find out how a young athlete in her care tested positive.

The ruling won’t decide what happens to the gold medal Valieva has already won in the team event. That competition concluded Feb. 7 with a commanding victory for the Russian squad, but there’s been no medal ceremony because of the ongoing uncertainty. CAS is only deciding whether Valieva can continue to skate until the Dec. 25 positive test can be resolved with a full investigation.


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