Winter Olympics: Fears raised over Kamila Valieva’s mental health

Kamila Valieva; Winter Olympics, Russian figure skater
Kamila Valieva

Kamila Valieva took to Olympic ice again on Sunday, as fears were raised about her mental well-being ahead of an expected verdict by the Court of Arbitration for Sport over her right to stay at the Games.

The 15-year-old went through her usual warm-up routine at the figure skating practice hall while an ad-hoc CAS committee met to consider a series of appeals against the decision by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency to lift a provisional suspension imposed upon the skater following a positive test for the banned heart medication trimetazidine.

The International Testing Agency (ITA), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Skating Union (ISU) are challenging Valieva’s right to stay in the Games ahead of the start of the women’s singles competition on Tuesday.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), whose interests in the case are being represented by the ITA, confirmed on Tuesday that mental health resources were available to Valieva in addition to those presumably being offered by her team.

“Mental help is always offered first of all by the team, but we have measures in place and safe-guarding officers,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said. “The support is there but the primary obligation is for the team is to look after its athletes.”

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