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11th Feb 2022

15 year old Russian figure skater banned after failed drug test at Beijing Olympics

Ellen Fitzpatrick

The decision is looking to be appealed.

Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva has failed her latest test for banned substances at this year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The 15 year old’s future at the sporting event will be decided before her next event on Tuesday, the International Testing Agency (ITA) has said.

Valieva failed the test collected at the Russian Figure Skating Championships on Christmas Day and a sample showed she had tested positive for trimetazidine, a heart medication on 8 February.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) then imposed an automatic ban but Valieva managed to successfully appeal her suspension and continued on to the Beijing games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said the issue will be dealt with as soon as possible with an appeal against the decision expected to be dealt with before Tuesday’s women’s single event.

“The IOC will exercise its right to appeal and not to wait for the reasoned decision by RUSADA, because a decision is needed before the next competition the athlete is due to take part in (Women Single Skating, 15 February 2022),” the ITA said.

The appeal will be handled by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The ITA was first notified of the positive test by a testing lab in Stockholm, Sweden, on Tuesday after Valieva won the team event with Russia but before the medal ceremony.

Russia could now lose its gold medal from the team competition due to this.

If this happens, Russia will be disqualified and the USA will take their medal, with Japan in silver and Canada in bronze.

This could also put Valieva’s individual competition in jeopardy after she set the world record scores this season.

While doping is uncommon in figure skating due to less muscle mass being more desirable, some skaters have been caught attempting to control their weight with diuretics over the years.

These are banned as they mask steroid use and other medication that can affect a performance.