Olympics: Russian figure skating prodigy tested positive for banned drug

Kamila Valieva reacts after her performance at the Beijing Olympics on February 7, 2022. (Aleksandra Szmigiel/Reuters)

Kamila Valieva, the 15-year-old Russian figure skating prodigy, has reportedly failed a drug test ahead of team competition at the Beijing Olympics.

As a result, the medal ceremony for the event has been delayed, the International Olympic Committee announced at a press conference. Inside the Games sports website first identified Valieva as the offender and Reuters later confirmed the report. The International Skating Union had said the blockage was due to a legal issue.

Valieva became the first female skater to land a quad jump at the Olympics during her free skate program on Monday and was instrumental in Russia’s victory in the team event. The Russian team beat the United States and Japan. She also led the women’s singles standings in the short program and free skate.

Russian athletes at the Beijing Games represent the Russian Olympic Committee, rather than the nation, without their flag and national anthem, due to penalties for previous drug offenses.

Some had speculated that the drug Valieva ingested was trimetazidine, a drug that treats chest pain and helps the cardiovascular system. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) lists trimetazidine as an illegal metabolic modulator for competition.

Valieva is technically a “protected person” under the World Anti-Doping Code, which states that “an athlete who, at the time of the anti-doping rule violation: has not reached the age of sixteen,” according to Inside the Games . Given that she is 15 years old, her identity must be withheld if it is determined that she has committed a drug offence.

“The ITA is aware of the various reports circulating regarding the postponement of the medal ceremony for the figure skating team event at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games,” the International Testing Agency said ( ITA), responsible for the doping tests of the athletes during the tournament. A declaration.

The agency dismissed the rumors and asked people to wait for an official statement before drawing conclusions.

“Any announcement related to these events would still be posted publicly on the ITA website and not commented on otherwise. No such announcement has been posted to date,” he added.

The International Olympic Committee and the International Skating Union also declined to comment on the situation.

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