A person in a red and black dress

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[Source: sportingnews.com]

The U.S. scored a public relations coup with Kamila Valieva’s humiliation

In the winter of 2021-22, while figure skaters were competing in North America and Europe and preparing for the Beijing Winter Olympics, the tensions around Ukraine were building.

NATO-trained Ukrainian troops were intensifying attacks on the border of the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk provinces of eastern Ukraine. Russia was building up its forces on the international border.

In December 2021, Russia proposed treaties with the U.S. and NATO, only to be brushed aside. Neo-cons running U.S. foreign policy seemed to be intentionally provoking Russia. Perhaps they wanted Russia to invade Ukraine, seeing that as a way to defeat Putin and break up Russia, just as the Soviet Union had broken up? As Hillary Clinton said, “Afghanistan is the model.”

On February 7, three days into the Beijing Olympics and after the Russians had won the team skating event, news emerged that one of the Russian skaters had previously tested positive for a banned substance. It soon emerged that the skater in question was the brilliant Kamila Valieva.

The charges created one of the biggest international sports controversies of the past 50 years. A single positive test for a banned medication upended the 2022 Beijing Olympics and resulted in bitter accusations. Although the controversy started more than two years ago, the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was only issued in early February.

The dispute over Valieva’s doping test is a reflection of global political contention and the politicization of sports. This article shows how the CAS decision was biased and unfair. It will also show how Western media have misreported the situation and how it is likely tha CIA and/or other U.S. intelligence agencies intentionally created this situation to prevent Russian achievements at the Beijing Olympics and “unbalance” the adversary.

Russia’s expected medal sweep in figure skating was intentionally sabotaged. The victim was Kamila Valieva. The target was Russia. Disrupting the first Winter Olympics to be held in China was a bonus.

What Happened

The key skating milestone are:

October 30, 2021 – In her debut as a senior, then 15-year-old Kamila Valieva wins first place at the Skate Canada International. Her performance leaves the audience and commentators in awe. Her urine sample is “clean” (no prohibited chemicals).

November 27, 2021 – Valieva wins the Rostelecom Cup [another event in the International Skating Union (ISU) Grand Prix]. She posts the highest score ever recorded. Her urine sample is clean.

December 25, 2021 – Valieva wins the Russian Figure Skating Championships in St. Petersburg. Her urine sample is sent to a certified laboratory in Sweden.

January 15, 2022 – Valieva wins gold at the European Figure Skating Championship. Her urine test is clean.

February 4, 2022 – Olympic Games begin in Beijing, China.

February 6, 2022 – Valieva participates in women’s short program of team event; she performs flawlessly, earning first place.

February 7, 2022 – Valieva wows the audience in women’s free skate (long program) of team event, again winning first place. Urine sample is clean.

February 7, 2022 – More than a month late, Stockholm laboratory reports an “Adverse Analytical Finding” for Valieva’s sample which they received six weeks earlier. They report the presence of a tiny amount of trimetazidine (TMZ) in Valieva’s urine sample.

February 8-15, 2022 – News of the positive doping test rapidly circulates and soon dominates Olympic coverage. Media and most Western athletes presume Valieva’s guilt and urge her removal from the Games. Because she is just 15 years old – a minor— the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decides that Valieva should be allowed to continue competing at the Beijing Olympics with the consequences of the positive test to be determined later.

February 17, 2022 – Under enormous pressure, Valieva, after winning the short program two days earlier, falls apart in the free skate (long program). Team skating medal awards are postponed due to uncertainty whether Valieva will be disqualified. The U.S. team, which won 2nd place in the team event, is angry over the postponement of the medal ceremony.

January 13, 2023 – After a long delay, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) determines that Valieva bore “no fault or negligence” for the single positive test.

February 21, 2023 – World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and International Skating Union (ISU), both Western-dominated organizations, appeal to CAS to have Valieva banned and all her results after December 25, 2021, annulled.

September 26, 2023 – CAS begins hearing regarding the Valieva positive test.

February 7, 2024 – CAS announces its decision and reasoning. The panel rules that Valieva committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV), is banned for four years and must forfeit all any titles, awards, medals, profits, prizes, and appearance money starting on December 25, 2021.

A person ice skating on ice

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Kamila Valieva competing at the Beijing Olympics in all her grace. [Source: bizday.ro]

The CAS Decision

Confirming that this was a judgment call, the CAS decision was a split 2-1. CAS explained its decision as follows: “The Athlete did not discharge her burden of proving…that her ADRV was not intentional on the balance of probabilities.”

The panel said it was not proven that Valieva intentionally ingested the banned substance. “The Appellants have not established that the Athlete committed the ADRV intentionally, and…there was no evidence that she had acted intentionally.”

CAS also said that “the Panel most certainly has not concluded that Ms. Valieva is a cheat or that she cheated on 25 December 2021 at the Russian National Championships or that she cheated when she won gold at the Beijing Olympics (or at any other time).”

The panel acknowledged that the punishment may be considered “harsh” given that they did not establish that she committed the ADRV intentionally. That is certainly correct considering the punishment was the same as if she had cheated and the punishment is widely seen as confirming guilt.

Critique of the CAS Decision

1. The panel was biased.

The panel was comprised of adjudicators from the U.S., UK and France. Valieva’s legal team appointed French attorney Mathieu Maisonneuve. The appellants, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and International Skating Union (ISU), appointed American attorney Jeffrey Mishkin. The CAS Appeals Division appointed the president of the panel, James Drake. He is a citizen of the UK and Australia who studied and worked in the United States.

CAS rules say that the president of a panel should be selected considering the criteria of “expertise, diversity, equality and turnover of adjudicators.” Drake was a poor choice for both equality and diversity. Two of the adjudicators have strong connections to the U.S. which is hostile to Russia and whose figure skating team stood to benefit if Valieva were disqualified.

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James Drake [Source: insidethegames.biz]

James Drake was panel president in two previous cases involving Russian athletes, canoeist Alexandra Dupik and track athlete Natalya Antyukh. Both cases were decided against the appealing Russian athletes. With Drake as president, this had the appearance of a Kangaroo Court.

2. The panel created a straw man to knock down.

The panel exaggerated the importance of the theory that Kamila accidentally imbibed TMZ through her contact with her “grandfather.” Mr. Solovyov was called her grandfather but was actually the father of a previous partner of Kamila’s mother. Since the mother was working, Mr. Solovyov acted as driver and guardian for Kamila who trained three hours in the morning, went home for lunch and rest, then trained three hours in the afternoon. Presumably Solovyov was being compensated for his help to the family. Solovyov was taking heart medication, including TMZ, due to previous heart attacks.

After the surprise news that Valieva tested positive for the heart medication TMZ, Kamila and her mother speculated that Kamila may have imbibed TMZ from drinking from the same glass or by consuming a strawberry dessert that grandfather made with a cutting board on which there were TMZ particles from his medication.

Media and the panel poured skepticism on this theory, especially when the grandfather declined to provide basic information or verification. It appears the stress of the situation may have resulted in Solovyov—who had previous heart attacks—not wanting to be further involved. The appellants and panel pounced on this. In the panel’s report there are 96 references to “grandfather,” 75 references to “dessert,” 43 references to “strawberry,” and 98 references to “Solovyov.” The panel effectively said they were skeptical of the “grandfather” explanation and that is all there is.

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Valieva and her “grandfather” bottom right. [Source: nypost.com]

In contrast, Valieva’s legal team put forward the “grandfather” contact as one of three possibilities. Another theory was that some food or permitted supplement that Valieva consumed was contaminated with TMZ. This happened to a Russian bobsledder at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

The third theory was sabotage. This is the most likely cause of the positive doping test, as shown below.

3. The panel minimized what was most important: Valieva had no motive to take a banned substance.

As shown at international events in October and November 2021, Kamila Valieva was at the peak of her profession. She was the best figure skater in the world. She was not only winning figure skating competitions, she was setting all-time records. She was training six hours per day under a very successful coach. She was well-schooled in the dangers of anti-doping violations.

Since 2016 Russian athletes have been widely accused of being the worst violators of doping standards. Ugly and unproven accusations, such as from WADA’s Richard McLaren, have been widely broadcast. When Russian athletes are exonerated, it is ignored in the West. The probability that Kamila Valieva would risk her reputation and career to intentionally take a banned medication prior to an event where she would certainly be tested is near zero.

Adding to the unreality of this case, the medication TMZ is of no benefit to a figure skater. It is for people with heart trouble, not young athletes. When it has been used by athletes, it is for endurance sports where heart palpitations may occur. As heart specialist Dr. Benjamin Levine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School said, “The chance that trimetazidine would improve her performance, in my opinion, is zero…The only chance would be for it to hurt her.”

One of the side effects of TMZ is dizziness, the worst thing for a figure skater. The panel dismissed the significance by glibly saying, “It is enough to say that not all side effects manifest in all people.”

A box of pills and a package of pills

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[Source: vinnec.com]

Dr. Levine noted that it is the legs, not the heart, that get tired in figure skating. If one looks at Valieva’s performances, it is clear she is in fine physical condition and not even breathing hard at the end of them. The trace amount of TMZ detected in her system a single time would have no effect at all. Dr. Levine notes that the U.S. equivalent of trimetazidine, ranolazine, is not prohibited.

The legal challenge for Valieva’s team was to show that she did not intentionally take the banned substance. The CAS panel minimized the fact that Valieva had every reason and motive not to take a banned substance. Her dedication to the sport and talent is obvious. It should also have been obvious that this sole positive case for a trace amount of TMZ is odd and itself suspicious.

4. The panel minimized the problems and violations of the Swedish laboratory

According to WADA’s International Standard for Laboratories, “Reporting of “A” Sample results should occur in ADAMS [the Anti-Doping Administration and Management System] within twenty (20) days of receipt of the Sample. The reporting time required for specific occasions may be substantially less than twenty (20) days.”

So the laboratory in Sweden took twice as long as it should have under normal circumstances. But the circumstances were not normal. The European Figure Skating Championships were in January and the Winter Olympics in February.

Why was this failure ignored? Media have reported the delay was due to staffing shortages caused by Covid 19. However, the CAS report describes a different reason for the extreme delay: There were two incidents of “unsatisfactory quality control” plus the need to find a “new confirmation method.” A Swedish scientist and chemical analysis expert gave his confidential assessment: “It is obvious that they were not prepared for the task and had even to develop a new procedure.” Despite the reporting failure and quality control issues at the Swedish laboratory, there was no criticism or comment by the panel or in the media.

The report says there were “lengthy submissions in relation to the conduct of the Stockholm Laboratory in its analysis and reporting of the AAF” but they do not say more.

5. Valieva’s legitimate medications and supplements were distorted.

WADA and ISU made much of the 60 medications and supplements that Valieva was authorized to take. Evidently this was a list of all the permissible medications that she could take if she or her doctor wished. As it turned out, she only took a few. There is nothing devious about these supplements. Many professional and amateur athletes use them. Here are the ones she was taking:

Carnitine is naturally present in many foods—especially foods of animal origin—and is available as a dietary supplement…Carnitine plays a critical role in energy production.” 

Hypoxen provides a reduction in oxygen consumption with significant physical exertion, improved tissue respiration, a decrease in mental and physical fatigue, and the successful implementation of labor-intensive physical operations.”

Supradyn is a brand name for a multivitamin and mineral supplement.”

Ecdysterone is the main compound in spinach extract.”

How and Why Kamila Valieva Was Sabotaged

Since 2014, the U.S. and Western allies have imposed sanctions, waged information war, and treated Russia as an enemy. The U.S. does not hide its animosity toward and goal to weaken Russia. The 2019 RAND Corporation report titled “Overextending and Unbalancing Russia” is an example. Commissioned by the U.S. Defense Department, the report discusses tactics and strategies to “weaken Russia.”

The report recommends, “Undermining Russia’s image…diminishing Russian standing and influence…Western efforts to damage Russia’s international prestige can be effective if broadly implemented. Further sanctions, the removal of Russia from non-UN international forums, and boycotting of international events are largely within the power of Western states to unilaterally implement and would damage Russian prestige…the loss of international sporting events or access to key forums is likely to deepen concerns within Russia that the current regime might not be effectively pursuing policies that are returning Russia to glory.”

[Source: rand.org]

International sports, with the Olympic Games being paramount, are an important part of a nation’s image abroad and at home. With its goal of “undermining Russia’s image,” the U.S. establishment had a motive in preventing Russians from winning at the Olympics. Figure skating is one of the most widely watched Olympics events and a Russian sweep of the medals, with Valieva leading the way, would impress the viewing public and enhance Russia’s image. It is impossible to look at Valieva’s skating and not be impressed with her artistry and skill.

At the end of October 2021, US secret services knew that Valieva was likely to win the figure skating gold.at the Olympics in February. Commentators at Ice Skate Canada International made that clear . That may be when the decision was taken to sabotage Valieva. All they had to do was insure she had one positive doping test.

Does the CIA have the MEANS to do that? Could they contaminate some food or drink or cosmetic of the target? Could they replace the pill or capsule of a legitimate supplement that Kamila took with one contaminated with TMZ? Could they replace a water or juice bottle with a contaminated one? Yes. If necessary, the CIA has their own chemical laboratory.

Undoubtedly they could also find an OPPORTUNITY. From CIA and Mossad accounts, we know that they begin by surveilling a target for days, weeks or months to learn their routine. They learn when the target is home, when they leave, what stores they frequent, etc . All they had to do was break into Kamila’s home or the hotel room in St. Petersburg to contaminate some food or beverage or replace some medication with something contaminated with TMZ. Selective sabotage is part of their business. There is a long history of far worse actions
done by the CIA to advance the US “national interest”.

Was It Incompetence or Worse at the Stockholm Lab?

One remaining question has to do with the extraordinary delay in reporting the Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) by the Swedish laboratory. Some experts have questioned why there is not a time limit. In this case, the finding was extremely late and test analysis involved multiple errors and a “new confirmation method.” Why was this allowed?

The late report was hugely disruptive to the Beijing Olympics. Instead of being sorry, the Biden administration may have been pleased. They had already criticized the Olympics and were carrying out a so-called diplomatic boycott.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tried to get world leaders to support a boycott with the accusation that China was committing “genocide.” Trying to derail the Olympics, U.S. lawmakers had urged that the Beijing Olympics should be “postponed.” It is very curious that there had been no public criticism of the Stockholm laboratory failures, which played a big role in the tumult. Why have the analysis anomalies and reporting time failure not been examined?

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[Source: youtube.com]

Mission Accomplished

The positive doping test for the Russian skater distracted from the other events at the Games, undercut the Russian figure skating team achievements, renewed allegations of excess doping in Russia and disrupted China’s first Winter Olympics. For the U.S. foreign policy establishment, in a cold war with both China and Russia, this was a victory.

From the comfort of studios and sidelines, jingoistic athletes and commentators derided Kamila, assumed she was guilty, and said she should not be competing. Pretending to “defend” her, many critics accused Valieva’s coaches and doctors of “child abuse.” Like the athlete herself, Kamila’s coach and doctors had no reason to encourage a banned substance. They had a very good reason and motive not to allow that.

Unfortunately, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and some athletic federations have become part and parcel of Western hybrid warfare against “adversaries” like Russia and China. WADA has expended enormous resources and efforts to ban top athletes from China and Russia.

The International Skating Union “welcomed” the decision to ban the now 17-year-old Kamila Valieva for four years. Top U.S. men’s figure skater Nathan Chen said that Valieva’s banning was a “win for clean sport.” On the contrary, it was a win for dirty politics, the politicization of sport and undermining the Olympic charter and its honorable ideals.

The news had the desired effect of provoking hostility and Russophobia. It is a shame that so few announcers and athletes expressed any skepticism. They immediately assumed her guilt and condemned Valieva’s coach, Eteri Tutberidze and doctors.

This was done with crocodile tears of concern for “child abuse.” When Valieva faltered under the immense pressure, commentator Christine Brennan fumed, “You could not help but see the results of the abuse of a child…. This is one of the greatest talents we have ever seen…Shame on Russia. Shame on those coaches for putting her in this position.” Patrick McEnroe opined, “Russians—are you happy now?…An absolute disgrace.”

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Patrick McEnroe [Source: espnpressroom.com]

What was the cause?

In summary, there are four possible causes of Valieva’s positive test for TMZ:  1) from contact with the  grandfather  2) from a contaminated legitimate medication  3) intentional use by the Athlete  4) intentional sabotage by enemies of Russia.

The third  possibility is the least likely because she had nothing to gain and everything to lose. She had seventeen clean tests, both before and after the sole positive test. Considering the geopolitical circumstances and timing, the fourth possibility is the most likely. There is motive, means and opportunity.

True to their national and political bias, a majority of the CAS panel determined  it was most probable that Kamila intentionally imbibed the banned substance. There was plenty of double-speak but that is the unavoidable conclusion from the ultimate decision and punishment.

Only a Temporary Win

On February 8, 2022, as Kamila’s positive test was stealing the show in Beijing, U.S. President Joe Biden was in Germany. With the tensions around Ukraine building, he threatened that, if Russia intervened in Ukraine, “There will no longer be a Nordstream pipeline….we will bring an end to it.” Around the same time, the Ukraine military and Azov militias escalated their attacks on the Donbas, perhaps preparing for a major attack. On February 24, Russia crossed the border and, thus, the Ukraine war began. Supporting the belief that the U.S. and West intentionally provoked and prolonged the war hoping to “weaken Russia,” the U.S. and UK effectively stopped peace negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow early in the conflict.

The Ukraine war continues with horrendous loss of life. Russia seems to be slowly winning and the end is hopefully in sight.

Kamila Valieva appears stronger than ever. She is no longer a girl, but a young woman skating in performances with tons of support. She is honored in Russia as the Olympic champion she is.

Provoking the Ukraine war and sabotaging the best figure skater in the world can at best be temporary victories for the U.S. and Western elites.

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About the Author


  1. It was acknowledged that Sun Yang did not know about the new prohibition of TMZ in 2014 but it was an ADRV. Thus the later controversy was his SECOND violation and they lowered the boom on him. CAS was so biased the Swiss Supreme Court overturned the first ruling. It is a fascinating case and example of WADA going to incredible lengths to take down a superb Chinese athlete. I wrote many articles on the case which continued for years. In both the Sun Yang and Kamila Valieva cases there is a Swedish connection.

  2. I think Sun Yang is being treated very unfairly, but there are conflicting stories regarding his smashing of all the blood vials in the year 2018, It was this behaviour rather than taking a drug, that has led to his present problems.

  3. You are correct Stanley. A small number of athletes used Trimetazadine, usually because they had heart palpitations at end of long workout. They did not need to get Therapeutic Use Exemption because the medication was not on the prohibited list prior to 2014. When it was added, WADA did little to inform athletes that this medication was now BANNED. Thus they caught some athletes unawares. So much for “fair play”. The most prominent athlete was the world record breaking Chinese distance swimmer Sun Yang. His case has major similarities to the Valieva case. It is described here: https://www.sportsintegrityinitiative.com/why-is-the-top-chinese-swimmer-not-at-the-tokyo-olympics-how-sun-yang-was-eliminated/

  4. Kamila is not the first athlete who may have or may not have used the drug Trimetazidine. In 2014 a Russian speed skater tested positive for this drug and was banned for two years. In 2014 a Russian sprinter tested positive for this drug and was banned for nine months. In 2014 a Chinese swimmer tested positive for this drug and received a punishment. In 2015 a Belarusian speed walker tested positive for this drug and was banned for two years. In 2015 an Estonian middle distance runner tested positive for this drug and was banned for four years.

  5. In the 2022 Winter Olympics, Russia won 32 medals, the most ever by Russia in the Olympics. Only Norway had more medals.

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