Global impact following Valieva's sanction. GETTY IMAGES

Russia's Kamila Valieva's four-year ban for a positive doping test has had a major global impact. The strongest reaction came from the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), which said the decision showed that "war has been declared on Russian sport".

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has handed Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva a four-year ban for doping ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. The ban will take effect from Christmas 2021. The sanction also affects Russia's Olympic gold medal-winning figure skating team. 

"It is determined that Valieva has committed an anti-doping rule violation (...) She is subject to a period of ineligibility of four years from 25 December 2021. All of Valieva's competition results from that date are annulled, as are the resulting consequences, including the forfeiture of titles, awards, medals and earnings," reads the CAS decision. 

The Russian skater's suspension has had a global impact. The strongest came from the ROC, which claimed that the decision showed that "war has been declared on Russian sport and, as we can see, all methods are valid". 

Valieva was the best skater on ice at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. GETTY IMAGES
Valieva was the best skater on ice at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. GETTY IMAGES

The 15-year-old prodigy had become the first female skater to land a quadruple jump in Olympic competition in February 2022. She helped Russia win gold in the team competition.

Her joy was short-lived, however, as the next day she was informed that she had tested positive for trimetazidine, a drug used to treat angina but banned for athletes, before the Games. 

On 29 January 2024, the CAS suspended Valieva, 17, for four years from 25 December 2021, the date of the positive test. The COR responded in a statement: "The decision is negative, but it has long been impossible to trust the objectivity and impartiality of this international structure." 

The COR also added that it would closely monitor the next steps and decisions of international sports organisations and, if necessary, take appropriate measures for the legal protection of Russian interests.

The Russian Olympic Committee team has lost the gold medal they won at Beijing 2022. GETTY IMAGES
The Russian Olympic Committee team has lost the gold medal they won at Beijing 2022. GETTY IMAGES

United States officials on Monday hailed the four-year ban imposed on Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva, describing the decision as a victory for clean athletes worldwide. Sarah Hirshland, CEO of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, said US skaters, who will be awarded gold medals at the 2022 Olympics as a result of the decision, would soon receive the recognition they deserve.

"Today is a day we have been eagerly awaiting for two years, as it is a significant victory not only for Team USA athletes, but for athletes around the world who practice fair play and advocate for clean sport," the executive director of the world's leading sports power since August 2018 said in a statement.

"We are incredibly proud of the US figure skating team... they embody the spirit and principles of the Olympic movement. Now we look forward to the day when we can wholeheartedly celebrate these athletes, along with their peers from around the world. Their moment will come, and when it does, it will be a testament to the justice and recognition they truly deserve," it added.

Meanwhile, the United States Anti-Doping Agency welcomed the verdict but said that justice had been "denied" by the two years it took to resolve the case and called for an expedited process in future cases. "Today's decision in the Valieva case has been a long time coming," said United States Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart.

"While any sense of true justice has been denied by the incredible and unnecessary delay in this case, we are incredibly happy for the clean athletes that this sad saga has finally come to an end, and we hope they can find joy and satisfaction in the fact that their long wait for justice is over. At the same time, our hearts ache for another Russian athlete who has been let down by the system," Tygart concluded.

Like its neighbour, the Canadian Olympic Committee welcomed the CAS decision, calling it "a decisive step in this years-long case" and praising the perseverance of the Canadian athletes.