Kamila Valieva’s lawyers say the Russian skater failed a doping test before the Olympics due to contamination from drugs her grandfather was taking.
IOC member Denis Oswald said part of the 15-year-old’s defense was “contamination that happened with a product her grandfather was taking”.
The argument was made during a hearing before the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Sunday evening. CAS judges ruled on Monday that Valieva could compete in the women’s individual event despite testing positive for a banned heart medication.
Although she can skate, the investigation will continue for months and she could have her medals taken away later. She helped the Russian team to gold last week and is the favorite in the women’s event from Tuesday.
Valieva and her entourage will be investigated by the Russian anti-doping agency after the Olympics. Even if the Russian investigation exonerates her, the decision will likely be appealed.
Oswald, a veteran sports lawyer who investigated the Sochi Olympics doping scandal cases for the IOC, said Valieva’s lawyers “presented material that cast doubt on her guilt.”
The CAS panel cited several reasons for allowing her to skate, including her status as a minor, potential harm to her career and the delay in notifying Russia of the positive test, from a sample taken on December 25.
Even if she wins another medal, the International Olympic Committee has announced that no medals will be awarded in the events in which Valieva will compete until a full investigation is complete.
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