Olympic-sized scandal

Russian figure skating phenom tests positive for banned substance at 2022 Olympic Games.


Matthew Stockman / Getty Images / TNS

Kamila Valieva of Team ROC falls during the women’s free skate during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at Capital Indoor Stadium on Feb. 17, 2022, in Beijing.

Brooke Gewalt, Contributing Writer

Fifteen year old Kamila Valieva, Russia’s figure skating sensation, assumed to take home the gold and unexpectedly took fourth at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic games. Controversially, Valieva was able to compete even with a positive test for the banned heart medication, Trimetazidine.

The drug Trimetazidine (TMZ) was banned in 2014. Normally used to treat angina, it increases blood flow to the heart which can benefit an athlete’s performance by helping them perform at a higher rate for a longer period of time. “TMZ can be used by athletes to improve physical efficiency, especially in the case of endurance sports,” scientists wrote in a 2014 paper on abuse of the drug by Polish athletes.

Following this positive drug test Valieva was cleared to compete in the Women’s Singles event after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that “she does not need to be provisionally suspended ahead of a full investigation into a failed drug test from before the 2022 Winter Olympics,” according to NBC Sports.

The case is further complicated because of Valieva’s age. Since Valieva is sixteen she’s considered a “protected person.”  This means that her case does not have to be reported. “If she were a normal minor in a case not involving the Olympics and not the greatest in the world at her sport, it probably would never get announced,” Greene told newswwc.

This past year, according to statistics, Valieva has won every competition she’s entered and broken record after record. Eteri Tutberidze ,Valievas’ coach, is famous for her training methods. In a December interview with Russian TV, she claims, “My skaters train twelve hours a day, they can always do more, demand more from themselves.”

Competing at the Olympic Games at the young age of sixteen is a tremendous amount of pressure for a young girl. Valieva told Russia’s Channel One earlier this week, after training.”These days have been very difficult for me,””It’s as if I don’t have any emotions left. I am happy, but at the same time, I am emotionally tired.”

This story is ongoing and will be updated after scheduled court decisions and the World Figure Skating Council comes to an agreement on this topic.