The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will appeal against the Russian Anti-Doping Agency's (RUSADA) decision to lift the provisional suspension on Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva.
The International Testing Agency (ITA) said in a statement on Friday the the IOC will delegate the task to ITA to appeal the decision before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Following the ITA statement, the International Skating Union (ISU) also announced to exercise its right to appeal to CAS against the decision to lift the provisional suspension on Valieva, without giving any further comment.
Valieva returned a positive result for banned substance trimetazidine on February 8, one day after the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) won gold in the Beijing Winter Olympics' figure skating team event. The sample was collected by RUSADA on December 25, 2021, during the Russian Figure Skating Championships in Saint Petersburg, Russia, the ITA said.
"Following this, the athlete was provisionally suspended by RUSADA with immediate effect," read the ITA statement.
While the 15-year-old was under provisional suspension from all competitions including Beijing 2022, the figure skating team event medals ceremony, originally scheduled for February 8, was pushed off.
According to the ITA statement, the athlete then challenged the decision before the RUSADA Disciplinary Anti-Doping Committee on February 9 and a hearing was held on the same day, after which the RUSADA Disciplinary Anti-Doping Committee decided to lift the ban, allowing her to continue to compete at Beijing 2022.
"The IOC will exercise its right to appeal and not to wait for the reasoned decision by RUSADA, because a decision is needed before the next competition the athlete is due to take part in [women's single skating on February 15, 2022]."
"Following the delegation of the IOC's anti-doping program in relation to the Olympic Games to the ITA, the ITA will lead the appeal before CAS on behalf of the IOC," the ITA said.
The athlete has the right to request the analysis of the B-sample, which will be pursued by RUSADA in due course.
The ITA has not given any additional comments regarding the case, as the legal process is not fully concluded.
According to Russia Today, Valieva's doping tests taken before and after December 25, 2021 all turned negative results, and the ROC is currently taking all possible measures to keep the gold medal won in the figure skating team event at Beijing 2022.
"Given that the athlete's positive doping test was not taken during the Olympic Games, the results of the athlete and the results of the team tournament during the Olympic Games are not subject to automatic review," read an ROC statement.
"The Russian Olympic Committee is taking comprehensive measures to protect the rights and interests of the members of the ROC team, and to keep the honestly won Olympic gold medal. ROC also assumes that a full investigation will be carried out, as a result of which all relevant legal and factual circumstances of the incident will be established," the statement continued.