FRESH twist in Kamila Valieva doping scandal at Beijing Winter Olympics

The Beijing Winter Olympics doping controversy engulfing Russian skater Kamila Valieva took a fresh twist on Wednesday after a US media report said she had three substances used to treat heart conditions in the sample which triggered the scandal.

FOR THE LATEST BEIJING WINTER OLYMPICS NEWS PLEASE VISIT THE SOUTH AFRICAN WEBSITE

The 15-year-old figure skater topped the short programme on Tuesday to put herself in prime position to win the women’s singles competition when it concludes on Thursday, bursting into tears afterwards and refusing to talk to journalists.

Kamila Valieva took centre stage at the Olympics after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled she should not be suspended despite failing a drugs test in December, although she has not been cleared of doping and still faces further investigation.

READ | SOUTH AFRICA SENDING NO ONE TO BEIJING 2022 WINTER OLYMPICS

Games testing authorities said last week that the teenager tested positive for trimetazidine, a drug used to treat angina but which is banned for athletes by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) because it can boost endurance.

The New York Times reported that her sample also contained the substances Hypoxen and L-Carnitine. They are not on WADA’s prohibited list.

The report said the disclosures concerning the different substances were contained in a document submitted at Sunday’s CAS hearing that ended with the controversial decision to allow Valieva to continue competing in Beijing.

READ | COOL RUNNINGS! JAMAICA SEND 3 BOBSLEIGH TEAMS TO WINTER OLYMPICS

Senior IOC member Denis Oswald had told reporters on Tuesday that Valieva informed the CAS panel that she tested positive because of “contamination” from her grandfather’s medicine.

The New York Times report said the grandfather provided a pre-recorded video message to a hearing with Russian anti-doping officials on 9 February in which he said he used trimetazidine.

PICTURE | WINTER OLYMPICS ATHLETE GOES TOPLESS AT FREEZING BEIJING OPENING CEREMONY

Valieva’s mother told the same hearing her daughter took Hypoxen for heart “variations”, the Times said.

Russia’s anti-doping agency RUSADA suspended the young skater after the 9 February hearing, only for her to win an appeal. CAS then agreed that she should be able to carry on at the Winter Olympics, citing “exceptional circumstances” including her age.

Kamila Valieva has already won one gold in Beijing, playing a starring role to lead Russia to team gold last week, before the doping controversy erupted.

The medals ceremony for that will not take place in Beijing because of the saga. Likewise, if Valieva comes in the top three after Thursday’s second half of the singles competition there will also be no ceremony – unprecedented in Olympic history.

It puts the spotlight once more on doping by Russian athletes, who are not allowed to take part at these Games under their flag because of a state-sponsored doping programme that reached its peak at its home 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Unhappiness and sympathy for Kamila Valieva

Some of Valieva’s fellow skaters made plain their unhappiness that they had to compete against her.

“I don’t know every detail of the case, but from the big picture obviously a doping athlete competing against clean athletes is not fair,” the 16-year-old American skater Alysa Liu said.

There was also sympathy.

Alexia Paganini, competing for Switzerland, said: “I definitely feel sorry for her. She is pretty much a product of the adults around her.”

But she added: “Rules are rules and they should be followed.” 

International Olympic Committee spokesperson Mark Adams said: “She is at the centre of a lot speculation and it must be very tough for her.”

By Garrin Lambley © Agence France-Presse

Spread the love
Generated by Feedzy