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Russian skater Kamila Valieva cleared to compete at Olympics

BEIJING (AP) – Russian teenager Kamila Valieva has been cleared to compete in the women’s figure skating competition at the Winter Olympics despite failing a pre-Games drug test, setting her up for an attempt at a second gold medal in Beijing.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) released its ruling after a hearing that lasted into yesterday morning that the 15-year-old Valieva does not need to be provisionally suspended ahead of a full investigation.

The court gave her a favourable decision in part because she is a minor, known in Olympic jargon as a “protected person”, and is subject to different rules from an adult athlete.

“The panel considered that preventing the athlete to compete at the Olympic Games would cause her irreparable harm in the circumstances,” CAS Director General Matthieu Reeb said.

Now, Valieva and her fellow Russian skaters can aim for the first podium sweep of women’s figure skating in Olympic history. The event starts with the short programme today and concludes on Thursday with the free skate.

Kamila Valieva attends a training session. PHOTO: AFP