Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva didn’t make it to the podium for her individual skate at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
The 15-year-old placed fourth in Thursday’s free skate after falling multiple times. She had been in the lead following the short program earlier this week but appeared distraught after her latest finish, in which she landed only one of three planned quad jumps.
The loss comes after Kamila reportedly tested positive for a banned substance, trimetazidine, back in December, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport decided to allow her to continue competing.
Her case has wreaked havoc at the Olympics since last Tuesday when the team event medal ceremony was pulled from the schedule because of the positive test.
If Kamila had placed in the top 3, there would not have been a medal ceremony moment in Beijing for her or the other skaters.
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 17, 2022
CAS cited special protections against minors, as well as noting that she hadn’t tested positive for banned substances while competing in Beijing but that she could still face consequences for previously testing positive, per NBC News.
CAS also cited a risk of causing Kamila “irreparable harm” by not allowing her to compete as their reasons for not suspending her.
Kamila’s legal team claims the positive test may have come from a contaminated glass of water containing traces of her grandfather’s heart medication, the guardian reported on Tuesday citing Russian publication Pravda.
The decision to let her skate at all outraged athletes and Olympic legends alike.
American Olympic figure skating coach and former Olympian Adam Rippon called the move a “…slap in the face to every athlete who plays by the rules.”
Officials say the choice to let her compete was solely for Beijing, which means she could still be banned from competition in the coming weeks.
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