Beijing 2022: Skater Valieva tested positive for banned substance

Olympic testers say trimetazidine was found in a sample taken at the Russian national championships in December.

Russia's Kamila Valieva trains in Beijing as the ITA confirmed she had tested positive for a banned substance
Russia's Kamila Valieva trains on the rink in Beijing as the ITA confirmed she had failed a drug test [Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP]

Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva failed a drugs test for a banned substance before the Beijing Olympics, the International Testing Agency (ITA) has announced.

Valieva, 15, tested positive for trimetazidine, a metabolic agent that is prescribed for the treatment of angina and vertigo, but is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) because it can increase blood flow efficiency and help endurance.

The ITA said on Friday Valieva submitted a sample during the Russian championships on December 25, but the positive test was not confirmed by an internationally-accredited laboratory until February 8.

The finding prompted the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) to impose an automatic provisional suspension.

Valieva lodged an appeal the following day, and RUSADA then lifted the suspension, allowing the skater to continue to compete at the Beijing Games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), which said it wanted the matter to be expedited as quickly as possible, will appeal against RUSADA’s decision with a ruling expected before the women’s solo event on Tuesday.

“The IOC will exercise its right to appeal and not to wait for the reasoned decision by RUSADA, because a decision is needed before the next competition the athlete is due to take part in [Women Single Skating, 15 February 2022],” ITA said.

The appeal will be handled by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The announcement explains the delay to the medals ceremony for the figure skating team event this week, in which Valieva led the Russians to gold.

At the time, the IOC said the ceremony had not taken place for legal reasons, but Russian media have reported the skater failed a drugs test.

Valieva, who became the first woman in history to produce a quadruple jump in an Olympic competition in the team event, has continued to practise at the rink next to the Capital Indoor Stadium.

Russian athletes are already competing without their flag and anthem because of sanctions for past doping violations.

Source: News Agencies