Timeline: Drama surrounds Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva's failed drug test

The 15-year-old sensation was expected to win gold in women's singles.

February 15, 2022, 7:00 PM

Russian figure skating sensation Kamila Valieva is a former junior world champion, but it wasn't until late 2021 that she burst onto the senior stage and emerged as the top contender for Beijing gold.

In no time, the 15-year-old quad queen was racking up record totals on the ice.

But her dramatic ascent hit a massive bump when it emerged, first in Russian media reports, that Valieva had failed a test for performance-enhancing drugs.

PHOTO: Russia's Kamila Valieva attends a training session on Feb. 11, 2022, prior the figure skating event at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games.
Russia's Kamila Valieva attends a training session on Feb. 11, 2022, prior the figure skating event at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games.
Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP via Getty Images

Here's how the drama has unfolded (all dates local time):

Dec. 24-25, 2021

The Russian Figure Skating Championships, which help to determine who would be selected to compete in Beijing, were held in Saint Petersburg, Russia, between Dec. 21 and 26 with the women's individual event being held on Dec. 24 and 25. Valieva would go on to dominate the competition despite Russia fielding several Olympic medal contenders.

On Dec. 24, Valieva skated in the short program, scoring a 90.38. The score put her in first place by a wide margin ahead of Anna Shcherbakova (81.46).

Valieva competed in the free skate on Dec. 25, posting 193.10, again the highest score, nearly 20 points ahead of the second-highest competitor, Alexandra Trusova (174.44).

Valieva's final score (283.48) was 35 points ahead of second place. All three of Valieva's scores were women's records, though the International Skating Union does not recognize records in national competitions.

The same day as her victory, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, or RUSADA, collected a sample from Valieva to be tested for performance-enhancing drugs.

Jan. 13-14, 2022

The European Figure Skating Championships were held in Tallinn, Estonia, from Jan. 12 to 16, with the women's individual competition taking place on Jan. 13 and 15.

Again, as she had throughout the fall and winter, Valieva was far and away the best performer.

PHOTO: Russia's Kamila Valieva celebrates with the gold medal after winning the ISU European Figure Skating Championships on Jan. 15, 2022, in Tallinn, Estonia.
Russia's Kamila Valieva celebrates with the gold medal after winning the ISU European Figure Skating Championships on Jan. 15, 2022, in Tallinn, Estonia.
Ints Kalnins/Reuters, FILE

She scored 90.45 in the short program, officially the highest score ever recorded in a short program. It was more than 14 points higher than the second place skater, Belgium's Loena Hendrickx.

Two days later, she put the finishing touches on her gold medal performance with a 168.61 in the free skate, despite falling on a triple axel.

Feb. 6, 2022

Valieva competed in the women's single skating short program during the team event in her first appearance in the Beijing Winter Olympics.

As expected, she topped the standings with a 90.18 to dwarf Japanese skater Wakaba Higuchi's second-place score of 74.73. The score was just shy of her own world record, but she became one of only four women to land a triple axel at the Olympics.

The performance scored the Russian Olympic Committee 10 points and pushed them past the United States and into first place.

PHOTO: Russia's Kamila Valieva competes in the women's single skating short program of the figure skating team event during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at the Capital Indoor Stadium on Feb. 6, 2022.
Russia's Kamila Valieva competes in the women's single skating short program of the figure skating team event during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at the Capital Indoor Stadium on Feb. 6, 2022.
Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images, FILE

Feb. 7, 2022

Valieva helped the ROC lock up the gold medal in the team event with her performance in the free skate.

She posted a 178.92, despite a fall just like at the European championships. Still, Valieva twice landed the hardest jump in figure skating, a quadruple jump. She became the first woman to land a quadruple salchow and the first to land a quadruple toe loop in Olympic competition. She fell on her third attempt at a quad.

PHOTO: Russia's Kamila Valieva reacts after competing in the women's single free skate of the figure skating team event, Feb. 7, 2022, during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
Russia's Kamila Valieva reacts after competing in the women's single free skate of the figure skating team event, Feb. 7, 2022, during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images, FILE

Feb. 8, 2022

Viewers got the first inkling of an issue with the ROC team when the medal ceremony for the team event scheduled for Tuesday evening was postponed.

On the same day, a World Anti-Doping Agency-accredited laboratory in Stockholm reported to RUSADA that the sample collected on Dec. 25 at the Russian championships had returned an "adverse analytical finding for the non-specified prohibited substance trimetazidine," the International Testing Agency would say in a statement several days later.

Valieva was immediately given a provisional suspension by RUSADA, which would preclude her from competing in the rest of the 2022 Games. Neither the failed test nor the suspension were made public at the time.

Trimetazidine is a medication that increases blood flow to the heart and is used to treat angina. It has been banned by WADA since 2014.

Feb. 9, 2022

The International Olympic Committee was asked at its daily briefing on Feb. 9 why the medal ceremony for the team event was postponed. IOC spokesperson Mark Adams would only say "legal consultation" was required and did not offer further comment.

"We have athletes that have won medals involved," Adams told reporters.

PHOTO: Mark Adams, director of communications at the International Olympic Committee, attends a news conference during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
Mark Adams, director of communications at the International Olympic Committee, attends a news conference during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
Phil Noble/Reuters

On the same day, behind the scenes, Valieva challenged the provisional suspension before the RUSADA Disciplinary Anti-Doping Committee, according to an ITA statement released two days later. The committee decided to lift her suspension, allowing her to participate in the women's singles event.

Reports emerged on Feb. 9 in Russian media outlets that Valieva had tested positive for a banned substance.

Valieva practiced in Beijing for the women's singles event as normal on Wednesday.

Feb. 10, 2022

With reports swirling in Russian media, the International Skating Union said it would not comment on any possible failed drug tests.

"Referring to the recent media reports, relating to the Figure Skating Team Event, the International Skating Union cannot disclose any information about any possible Anti-Doping rule violation," the ISU said in a statement. "This is in line with the ISU Anti-Doping Rules and IOC Anti-Doping Rules for Beijing 2022."

"The ISU will therefore not make further comments at this time," it added.

Feb. 11, 2022

For the first time, Valieva's positive test is officially made public when the ITA released a timeline about the failed test and resulting challenges. The agency also said it would not normally name a minor but did so due to "the necessity for official information due to heightened public interest."

The IOC and WADA said they would challenge the decision to overturn Valieva's suspension.

The International Skating Union also said it would challenge the decision by RUSADA to overturn Valieva's suspension in an expedited hearing before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

"The ISU will exercise its right to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) the decision of the RUSADA Disciplinary Anti Doping Committee of February 9 to lift the provisional suspension and to ask CAS to reinstate the provisional suspension," it said in a statement.

PHOTO: Kamila Valieva, of the Russian Olympic Committee, trains at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022, in Beijing.
Kamila Valieva, of the Russian Olympic Committee, trains at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022, in Beijing.
Bernat Armangue/AP

The ROC said in a statement that Valieva had tested negative for any performance-enhancing substance at the European championships and at the Beijing Olympics.

"The Russian Figure Skating Federation has no doubts about the honesty and purity of its Athlete, will make every effort to clarify the circumstances of the incident and provide the Athlete with the necessary comprehensive assistance and support," the federation said in its statement.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also issued a statement supporting Valieva: "We boundlessly and fully support Kamila Valieva and call on everyone to support her. And we say to Kamila: don't hide your face. You are a Russian -- perform and defeat everybody."

Feb. 12, 2022

Adams said at a press conference Saturday that he's "certain as I can be" that the expedited hearing for Valieva would take place before the women's short program on Feb. 15.

Later in the day, the Court of Arbitration for Sport issued a statement laying out the timeline for Valieva's hearing and the decision over whether she'll be allowed to compete in the individual competition.

The panel said it will hold the virtual hearing at 8:30 p.m. Beijing time (7:30 a.m. U.S. Eastern time) on Sunday, Feb. 13. It will then make a ruling on Monday afternoon Beijing time.

Feb. 13, 2022

Valieva attended a videoconference hearing with the Olympic Court of Arbitration for Sport Panel, which announced an investigation into her entourage in addition to the one the Russian Anti-Doping Agency is conducting.

"When a minor is involved there is a requirement in the World Anti-Doping Code to investigate the entourage," the panel said in a statement.

Feb. 14, 2022

Valieva was cleared to compete in figure skating at Beijing Olympics, despite the positive doping test in December, but no flower ceremony and no medal ceremony will take place should she finish among the top three skaters, the International Olympic Committee announced.

Feb. 15, 2022

Valieva finished first in the short program with a score of 82.16, topping her Russian teammate, Shcherbakova, by just shy of 2 points. Japan's Kaori Sakamoto (79.84) was third.

It was far from a dominant performance, though, as Valieva stumbled on a triple axel attempt, the hardest jump in the sport. She did hit a triple lutz-triple toe loop combination.

Her score was more than eight points lower than her short program in the team event when she did hit the triple axel cleanly.

PHOTO: Russia's Kamila Valieva competes in the women's single skating short program of the figure skating event during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at the Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing, Feb. 15, 2022.
Russia's Kamila Valieva competes in the women's single skating short program of the figure skating event during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at the Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing, Feb. 15, 2022.
Anne-christine Poujoulat/AFP via Getty Images

Feb. 17, 2022

Valieva is scheduled to compete in the women's single skating free skate program at 5 a.m. ET.

ABC News' Julia Jacobo and Drew Millhon contributed to this report.

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