Russian skater Kamila Valieva claimed that a strawberry dessert made by her grandfather on a board he used to crush his pills could have been the cause of her positive doping test.
Valieva, once a 15-year-old gold medal favourite, was banned for four years last month after testing positive for the banned heart medication trimetazidine in December 2021.
The full report of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) verdict published on Wednesday stated Valieva claimed the drug could have entered her system through consuming contaminated food shortly before the Russian Championships in 2021, “i.e. through the consumption of a strawberry dessert prepared by her grandfather on the chopping board where he used to crush his medication”.
Valieva has also in the past blamed “contamination by cutlery” she shared with her grandfather, who was treated with trimetazidine after receiving an artificial heart, and who drove her to training every day.
Another explanation Valieva has offered is that she might have shared a glass used by her grandfather to take his medication.
There is some doubt about the value to athletes of trimetazidine, which is normally used to treat angina. It has been banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) since 2014. Its side effects include gait disorders and hallucinations.
Valieva, who is now 17, burst onto the world stage at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics when she became the first female skater to land a quadruple jump and won team figure skating gold.
A Russian Anti-Doping Agency investigation initially found Valieva bore “no fault or negligence” for the positive test, but WADA appealed against that ruling at CAS.
The Figure Skating Federation of Russia has said it “categorically” disagrees with the CAS decision.
Valieva’s results in competition since her failed test have been expunged.
The team gold medal she helped the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) to win in Beijing has been awarded to the USA, with the Russians slipping to the bronze medal position, without the contribution from Valieva.
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