The World Anti-Doping Agency has launched an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in the Kamila Valieva case ©Getty Images

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has announced that it is seeking to ban Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva for a four-year period after lodging an appeal against the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

WADA has said it also wants to scrub off her results from last year's Winter Olympics where Valieva was part of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) team that won team gold.

Should WADA succeed in its appeal, Valieva and the rest of her ROC team will be stripped of the title and the United States will be promoted to gold-medal position.

The International Olympic Committee told insidethegames that it welcomed WADA's decision to take the case to CAS adding that it hoped "that the case will be handled as quickly as possible."

Valieva is also facing being suspended from competition, with WADA seeking to impose a four-year ban from December 25 2021 when she tested positive for the banned substance trimetazidine.

The RUSADA announced last month that Valieva, who claimed the positive test was the result of a mix-up with her grandfather's heart medication, had been found not guilty by its independent Anti-Disciplinary Committee.

It ruled that there was "no fault or negligence" on the part of Valieva and her only punishment should be disqualification from the Russian Championships.

WADA said that it considered this ruling to be "wrong under the terms of the World Anti-Doping Code" and decided to "exercise its right" to lodge an appeal with CAS.

"Within the appeal, WADA is seeking a four-year period of ineligibility and disqualification of all the athlete's results from the date of the sample collection on 25 December 2021," a statement from WADA read. 

"As it has sought to do throughout this process, WADA will continue to push for this matter to proceed without further undue delay.

"Given the case is now pending before CAS, WADA can make no further comment at this time."

WADA, led by Witold Bańka, is seeking to ban Kamila Valieva for a period of four years starting from when the positive sample was collected ©Getty Images
WADA, led by Witold Bańka, is seeking to ban Kamila Valieva for a period of four years starting from when the positive sample was collected ©Getty Images

Responding to WADA lodging the appeal the IOC told insidethegames: "The IOC welcomes that with the decision from WADA, to take this case to CAS, we are one step closer to a final resolution, which the athletes are desperately waiting for.

"As it concerns a test that was conducted outside the Olympic Games, but which has an impact on the results of the figure skating team and the individual competitions at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, the IOC hopes that the case will be handled as quickly as possible. 

"This is also in the best interests of everyone involved, particularly the athletes who have not yet been able to receive their medals from Beijing 2022.

"Only the finalisation of the case will enable the International Skating Union (ISU) to establish the definitive results of the figure skating team competition at these Games and the IOC to decide on the medal allocation."

Travis Tygart, chief executive of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, who previously blasted RUSADA's ruling in the Valieva case as "self-serving", has told insidethegames that WADA's appeal has been done to "restore some confidence in the global anti-doping system and we are very thankful". 

"Now, let’s hope the hearing is expedited and open to the public so that the athletes, whose dreams are hanging in the balance, can believe in the final outcome, whatever it may be, and that some justice can be salvaged soon," said Tygart.

Valieva, who was only 15 at the time she tested positive, was the star of the ROC team that in February last year won the team gold medals at Beijing 2022, ahead of the United States and Japan.

But, after insidethegames exclusively revealed that Valieva had tested positive for a banned substance, the medal ceremony was cancelled.

U.S. Figure Skating said earlier this month that it was "deeply frustrated" by the fact that the Olympic medals for the team event had still not been awarded because of the doping case involving Valieva.

The US finished second behind the ROC in the event, with Japan and Canada finishing in third and fourth respectively.