February 10th, 10:30 p.m. It is now confirmed that Valieva tested positive on Christmas of 2021 for trimetazidine. Since she is age 15, she is considered a ‘Protected Person’ under the World Anti-Doping Code. An urgent hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport will determine her status for these 2022 Games, as the International Olympic Committee will go head-to-head against Russia’s anti-doping agency.
The court will decide whether Russia was right to lift a provisional ban on Valieva so she could compete in Beijing.
February 9th, 10:35 p.m. We now know it is Russian women’s figure skater Kamila Valieva, age 15, that is the skater in question. Russian media is reporting trimetazidine is the drug in question, which would give her the ability to perform longer. Russian media is saying the flagged sample is from December, but that is unconfirmed at this time.
Valieva is the favorite to win gold in the individual women’s figure skating event as well.
Here we go again.
Team ROC is not called Russia at the 2022 Beijing Olympics thanks to engineering the largest-scale sports doping program since the Cold War. And now the medal ceremony for the team figure skating event in Beijing is now delayed thanks to new doping allegations against the ROC team.
“The situation arose today, on short notice, which requires legal consultation with the [International Skating Union]” said IOC spokesman Mark Adams. “Because there are legal implications I can’t really talk about much. It’s kind of an emerging issue.”
In team figure skating, each country performs in women’s singles, men’s singles, pairs, and ice dancing. The Russian team that won gold included Kamila Valieva, who is the favorite in the women’s competition. Men’s figure skater Mark Kondratiuk, pairs skaters Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov, as well as ice dancers Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov rounded out the six-person squad.
The United States finished second, Japan third, and Canada fourth. If the ROC’s are dismissed, it would mean gold for the USA, silver for Japan, and the Canadian team would head to the podium to pick up the bronze medal.
If you’re not familiar with the ROC team, it’s just the Russian team with a legally negotiated name because of systemic doping by Russia during the 2014 Sochi Olympics and well beyond. The ban on Russia in any international sporting competitions, including the world championship in all sports from archery to wrestling, from the World Anti Doping Agency is scheduled to end on December 16th of this year.
But that might not be the case if the nation has been caught cheating once again.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Games, standing and applauding as the ROC team entered the Bird’s Nest stadium. But the flag of Russia as well as any insignia from the country are banned, and the national anthem is not heard when athletes win the gold medal.