Olympics-Russian Figure Skater Turns up for Practice After Reports of Failed Drug Test

By Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber

BEIJING (Reuters) – Russian determine skating sensation Kamila Valieva confirmed up for her scheduled observe on the Beijing Olympics on Thursday, after Russian media reported the 15-year-old had examined optimistic for a banned substance.

{The teenager} was a part of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) ensemble that gained the determine skating workforce occasion on Monday forward of the USA and Japan. The ceremony to current her and her workforce mates with their Olympic medals has been delayed since then for unexplained authorized causes.

Carrying a navy blue hoodie, black tights with shorts over them and her hair tied in a bun, Valieva took to the ice simply after 11 a.m. Her coach Eteri Tutberidze additionally attended.

Russian media reported on Wednesday that Valieva had returned a optimistic take a look at, with newspapers RBC and Kommersant naming the drug as Trimetazidine, which is often used to deal with chest ache.

Repeated makes an attempt to achieve the ROC chef de mission by Reuters have been unsuccessful. His telephone was not answering, and the ROC workplace in Beijing was locked and unmanned on Thursday. The ROC on Wednesday declined to touch upon the experiences that Valieva had returned a optimistic take a look at.

The Worldwide Olympics Committee additionally declined to touch upon Thursday.

{The teenager} delivered one of many highlights of the Beijing Video games thus far when she landed the primary quadruple jumps by a lady in Olympic competitors.

Determine skating is a status sport for Russia, wherein it has an impressive document at Olympic and world championships. Any transfer to penalise Valieva or strip the workforce of their medals would doubtless trigger a nationwide outcry.

Outstanding journalist Vasily Konov, deputy normal producer at Russian sports activities channel Match-TV, stated with out citing sources that the pattern in query had been taken two months in the past.

“The drug trimetazidine doesn’t assist an athlete in any approach. In any respect. It was present in one single pattern in December. A minuscule quantity. Nothing in her samples earlier than or since,” he wrote on social media.

“There isn’t any doping within the typical sense. No! This cardiac drug has no influence on … efficiency. Now depart Kamila in peace.”

Former Russian pairs skater Tatiana Volosozhar, who gained two gold medals on the 2014 Sochi Olympics, confirmed solidarity with Valieva on social media, calling for the usage of the Russian hashtag #Iwillneverbelieve to ship {the teenager} assist.

Her publish was “favored” on Instagram by Valieva herself.

Trimetazidine, or TMZ, works by growing blood stream to the guts and limiting speedy swings in blood stress. The drug is just not authorised to be used in the USA. It has been on the World Anti-Doping Company’s (WADA) listing of prohibited substances since 2014.

Dr. Sadiya Khan, a heart specialist and assistant professor at Northwestern College Feinberg College of Medication, stated in idea such a drug may be utilized in a wholesome particular person to boost blood stream above and past regular ranges.

“The concept behind it will be doubtlessly in the event you improve blood stream, you can enhance any individual’s skill to train longer or train extra effectively by permitting the guts to reply super-normally,” Khan stated in a phone interview.

However utilizing any medicine in a approach for which it isn’t meant may have detrimental unwanted effects, even when these dangers aren’t recognized. “I feel it may very well be very harmful,” she stated.

The opposite caveat, she stated, is that it isn’t clear that it gives any performance-enhancing profit.

“There is a theoretical profit,” she stated. “There is not any robust proof that it does make a distinction.”

The case is additional difficult by the truth that Valieva is simply 15.

In line with WADA’s world anti-doping code, athletes who commit doping violations ought to be publicly named, however this isn’t required if the particular person involved is a minor below the age of 18.

In that case, based on rule 14.3.7, any elective public disclosure “shall be proportionate to the details and circumstances of the case”.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Worldwide Olympic Committee stated a necessity for “authorized session” had pressured the postponement of the medal ceremony for the determine skating workforce occasion gained by the Russians.

“You possibly can guess your backside greenback we’re doing all the pieces that this example will be resolved as quickly as attainable. I can’t provide you with any extra particulars however we’ll do our utmost,” IOC spokesperson Mark Adams stated.

The IOC, Worldwide Skating Union and the worldwide company in control of medicine testing throughout the Video games have all declined to remark.

The Russian Sports activities Ministry stated it was untimely to touch upon media experiences concerning the purpose for the postponement.

Russia has acknowledged some shortcomings in its implementation of anti-doping guidelines however denies operating a state-sponsored doping programme. Its athletes are competing on the Beijing Video games with out their flag and nationwide anthem, due to sanctions in opposition to Russia for earlier violations.

(Further reporting by Karolos Grohmann, Chang-Ran Kim, Julien Pretot, Iain Axon, Maria Kiselyova, Vladimir Soldatkin and Michele Gershberg, Julie Steenhuysen; Writing by Mark Trevelyan; Modifying by Christian Radnedge and Michael Perry)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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