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Star Figure Skater Valieva Removed from Russian National Team

Figure skater Kamila Valieva. Sergei Bobylev / TASS

Figure skater Kamila Valieva has been removed from the Russian national team, the head of Russia’s Figure Skating Federation told state media on Thursday.

“Valieva is currently not part of the national team. Everything was done in accordance with legal documents,” Alexander Kogan, who heads the figure skating body, was quoted as saying by the TASS news agency. 

He did not provide further details about Valieva's exclusion from Russia's national team.

In January, the Court of Arbitration for Sport suspended the teenage athlete for four years after she failed a doping test before the 2022 Winter Olympics. 

The Kremlin slammed the suspension as a “politicized” decision.

At the Beijing Games in February 2022, Valieva, then 15, became the first female skater to land a quadruple jump in an Olympic competition, helping Russia secure gold in the team event.

The next day, she was told she had tested positive before the event for trimetazidine, a drug used to treat angina but banned for athletes.

Valieva’s positive test raised questions not just about her guilt, but also about how she was treated as a minor, the way the test was conducted and the value of the drug involved for enhancing performance.

In December, the International Olympics Committee said it would allow Russian athletes at this year’s Paris Olympics to compete as neutrals and outside of team events and so long as they did not support the invasion of Ukraine.

At the time, the Olympic body said that there were only eight athletes from Russia who had qualified as neutral athletes.

AFP contributed reporting.

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