Olympics 2022 – What we know about Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva’s alleged positive drug test

Sadye Matula

Russian determine skating sensation Kamila Valieva has reportedly tested favourable for a banned drug. Right after the medal ceremony for the group figure skating party was postponed on Wednesday for what the Worldwide Olympic Committee termed “lawful challenges,” Russian newspapers reported that Valieva experienced tested positive for trimetazidine, a drug […]

Russian determine skating sensation Kamila Valieva has reportedly tested favourable for a banned drug. Right after the medal ceremony for the group figure skating party was postponed on Wednesday for what the Worldwide Olympic Committee termed “lawful challenges,” Russian newspapers reported that Valieva experienced tested positive for trimetazidine, a drug usually employed to address coronary heart-linked chest soreness.

What’s upcoming for Valieva? Will she be permitted to contend? What occurs to the team function, the place Russia gained gold? Whilst quite a few issues continue being, this is what we do — and do not know — so considerably.

Who is Kamila Valieva?

Valieva, 15, is the brightest star on Russia’s dominant determine skating team. In only her to start with senior season, she has received each and every opposition she’s entered and broken record just after document. In the workforce function, she grew to become the 1st female to land a quadruple bounce in Olympic competitors and received both the women’s brief program and cost-free skate to enable Russia protected gold. She is greatly envisioned to gain a second gold medal in the women’s singles level of competition, which begins up coming Tuesday.

Wait around, are not the Russians banned from the Olympics for doping?

In 2019, WADA banned Russia from worldwide level of competition for four a long time due to a point out-sponsored, several years-prolonged doping plan involving some of the country’s biggest athletes. But the ban, afterwards reduced to two many years, has been largely symbolic. Russian athletes have nevertheless been permitted to participate in the past three Olympics beneath a neutral flag. In fact, this year’s Russian delegation of 214 athletes, competing as “Russian Olympic Committee,” is a person of the greatest in Beijing.

What is trimetazidine, and have athletes tested optimistic right before?

Trimetazidine, also recognized as TMZ, is a drug with stimulant properties typically applied to take care of angina, or chest suffering owing to minimized blood flow to the heart. It is not authorised for use in the United States. The Planet Anti-Doping Company (WADA) included it to its list of banned substances in 2014, where it is prohibited the two in and out of competitors. WADA issued an advisory in January 2018 that trimetazidine could display up in urine samples as a wrong positive for lomerizine, a migraine medication that is permitted.

Chinese swimmer Solar Yang, a 3-time Olympic gold medalist, served a three-month doping ban right after screening constructive for trimetazidine in 2014. Russian bobsledder Nadezhda Sergeeva also analyzed good for the substance for the duration of the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang.

American swimmer Madisyn Cox effectively appealed a two-yr ban that was diminished to 6 months just after she proved that a vitamin health supplement she had been using was contaminated with trimetazidine.

What has been said?

On Wednesday, the Intercontinental Olympic Committee explained that a want for “legal session” had caused the postponement of the crew medal ceremony. “You can guess your base dollar we are accomplishing every thing [so] that this circumstance can be fixed as shortly as probable,” IOC spokesperson Mark Adams told the media. “I are not able to give you any extra specifics, but we will do our utmost.”

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov explained to reporters to “hold out for some explanations both from our athletics officials or from the IOC.”

Valieva has not commented on the situation but liked an Instagram write-up by previous Russian pairs skater Tatiana Volosozhar supporting her. It is not distinct if she has utilized for a therapeutic use exemption for the drug.

Journalist Vasily Konov, deputy general producer at Russian sports channel Match-Television set, posted on social media that the sample in issue had been taken in December. He did not cite any sources and claimed that trimetazidine “does not assistance an athlete in any way.”

The Involved Press claimed that the sample was allegedly obtained right before Valieva gained the European championship past month in Estonia.

If the take a look at were in actuality taken in December, it raises queries as to why it took so prolonged for the take a look at to be reported. “That would be a screw-up on somebody’s portion if they are just reporting a December good now in the middle of the Olympics,” veteran sports lawyer Howard Jacobs instructed ESPN.

Top rated international sporting activities lawyer Paul Greene also puzzled how it could have taken so prolonged to process, but pointed out you can find no prerequisite that tests be noted within a selected time period of time. “At times these issues get thrown to the lab and the lab sits on it for months, not by means of anybody’s nefarious conduct, just as a result of backups in lab tests, etcetera,” he advised ESPN.

What happens upcoming?

Several things make this an really difficult situation, according to Greene. “This is just one of the most sophisticated scenarios I’ve seen and I’ve done these cases for a long time,” he stated.

Valieva and the IOC could appear to an agreement in which she willingly accepts a sanction, which includes a warning, Greene reported. If not, the case will go to a panel of the Anti-Doping Division of the Courtroom of Arbitration for Activity (CAS), which hears urgent circumstances on-web-site in Beijing.

CAS will probably rule on two concerns in Beijing: Whether to strip the Russians of the group medal and whether or not Valieva can contend in the singles event.

But the situation is additional sophisticated by Valieva’s age. For the reason that she is below 16, she is considered a “shielded person.” This suggests that her scenario does not have to be described. “If she ended up a typical insignificant in a scenario not involving the Olympics and not the finest in the earth at her sport, it likely would in no way get introduced,” Greene said.

It also means that she could get a decrease sanction. In its place of a 4-12 months ban, Valieva could receive just about anything from a warning to two many years, according to both equally Jacobs and Greene.

What does this imply for the workforce levels of competition?

This is the place it gets even trickier. If the Russians were stripped of their gold medal, Group Usa would move up to gold, Japan would get silver and Canada would gain bronze. But, according to Greene, there is a chance that Valieva could get rid of her medal, but the other 5 Russian skaters could hold theirs.

ISU guidelines say that a doping violation fully commited by a member of a group “in connection with an in-level of competition take a look at immediately sales opportunities to disqualification of the result received by the workforce.” On the other hand, it is not apparent regardless of whether Valieva’s test was in-competitiveness or not.

How does this impact the women’s opposition?

If Valieva were being disqualified, Russia would eliminate its chance to turn out to be the 1st country to sweep the women’s determine skating podium. Her teammates Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova would turn out to be the new medal favorites, though Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto and Group USA’s Alysa Liu could also be contenders.

When will we know?

It really is tricky to say, but Jacobs expects it to be quickly. “I would anticipate that this whole thing will transfer incredibly rapidly,” he advised ESPN. “If it is really a beneficial check that impacts medals, which it looks like it is, I would assume CAS will have a final result in 24 hours.”

The two WADA and Valieva can attractiveness CAS conclusions. Valieva could be authorized to compete at the Olympics and obtain a sanction afterwards on appeal. “Anything at all that transpires at the Olympics won’t always be a closing decision,” reported Greene.

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