What you need to know about Kamila Valieva’s reported positive drug test and heart drug history in doping

After a day of swirling rumors and anonymous leaks, the Russian newspaper RBC reported that the star of the Russian figure skating team, 15-year-old Kamila Valieva, tested positive for a banned substance.

The AP, quoting the Russian newspaper, reported that Valieva — the gold medal favorite who became the first woman to make a quadruple jump at the Olympics just days earlier — apparently tested positive before the Beijing Games, and even before the European Games. championships in January. International athletes are randomly tested at all times, both during and outside competition. Valieva reportedly tested positive for the drug trimetazidine, a heart drug generally prescribed to patients with angina to help maintain blood flow and prevent blockages that can stop the heart. It can also reduce inflammation and relax blood vessels, helping people who have had stents or heart surgery maintain steady blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body.
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Trimetazidine’s history in doping

The drug has had a dark history in recent years, however, as a doping agent by athletes seeking an extra edge in endurance, whether for training or for competition.

Since 2014, the World Anti-Doping Agency has listed trimetazidine as a metabolic modulator for this reason, as it can give athletes an unfair chemical advantage. Chinese swimmer Sun Yang was banned for three months in 2014 after testing positive for the drug, while Russian bobsleigher Nadezhda Sergeeva was disqualified from the 2018 Olympics and given an eight-month ban on the same drug.

It’s unclear if Valieva has a heart condition or has some other reason to legitimately use the drug. If either is the case, she should also have been given a special waiver or medical allowance to use the medication.

What Happens Next After Valieva’s Reported Positive Drug Test?

The medal ceremony for the team figure skating event, scheduled for February 8 in Beijing, has been postponed indefinitely. Neither the International Olympic Committee (IOC) nor the International Skating Union (ISU) has issued a statement regarding the apparent violation. Explaining the delay during the regular press conference on February 9, IOC spokesman Mark Adams would only say that “Today a short-term situation has arisen that requires legal consultation with the ISU … It is an emerging issue and I can’t add much.”

The Russian team is already competing in its second Olympics as the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), as the country continues to serve a two-year ban on a state-sponsored doping program. From December 2020 to December 2022, no athlete may represent or participate in the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games or World Championships under the Russian flag.

Athletes can appeal against doping violations and the Court of Arbitration for Sport does have an office in Beijing to handle time-sensitive cases. If the Russian news reports are true, it could disqualify the ROC team and strip them of the gold. That would mean the US earns gold, current bronze medalists Japan would be elevated to silver, and fourth-place Canada the bronze.

Depending on the process, Valieva could also avoid competing in the women’s event she was expected to win, which kicks off next week. Valieva, the Russian national champion, gave a glimpse of her astonishing talent in the team event, skating both her short and free programs and making history as the first female skater to make a quadruple jump in the Olympics. That award could also come with an asterisk if reports are confirmed that she used a banned substance without receiving a medical clearance.

This post What you need to know about Kamila Valieva’s reported positive drug test and heart drug history in doping

was original published at “https://time.com/6146748/kamila-valieva-drug-trimetazidine/”