Another Olympics, another Russian doping scandal.
On Wednesday in Beijing, the medal ceremony for the team figure skating event was delayed due to a reported positive drug test from the gold medal-winning Russian team.
“We have athletes that have won medals involved,” IOC spokesperson Mark Adams said at the daily news briefing. Adams said that “legal consultation” was required before any medals could be presented.
“Everyone is doing absolutely everything that the situation can be resolved as soon as possible,” Adams said, though he cautioned, “as you know, legal issues can sometimes drag on.”
It has now emerged that 15-year-old Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva reportedly tested positive for a banned substance. According to Russian media, the substance is trimetazidine, used to treat chest pain, and was found in a sample collected two months prior to the Olympics.
“The drug trimetazidine does not help an athlete in any way,” Russian journalist Vasily Konov wrote on social media, according to ESPN. “At all. It was found in one single sample in December. A minuscule amount. Nothing in her samples before or since.”
“There is no doping in the conventional sense,” Konov continued. “No! This cardiac drug has no impact on … performance. Now leave Kamila in peace.”
According to Reuters, “Trimetazidine is listed on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) list of metabolic modulators and is prohibited both in and out of competition.” It is used in order to treat angina, which causes severe pain in the chest.
The United States finished second in the event, followed by the team from Japan. Due to Valieva’s age, she is considered a “protected person” by the World Anti-Doping Agency, meaning the agency is not required to release the name of the individual who tested positive.
“The ITA is aware of the various reports circulating regarding the postponed medal ceremony for the figure skating team event at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022,” the International Testing Agency (ITA) said in a statement. “Any announcement connected to these events would always be publicly issued on the ITA’s website and not commented on otherwise. No such announcement has been published to date.”
On Tuesday, American figure skater Nathan Chen recorded the highest score in the history of the short program, getting a score of 113.97 from the judges. Chen landed a triple axel and two quadruple jumps in his routine, vaulting the American to the top of the leaderboard.
“I was just elated,” Chen said. “At the last Olympics, both of the short programs didn’t go the way I wanted. To finally get an opportunity to skate the programs I wanted feels really good.”
Chen’s performance was a massive rebound from his disastrous result at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, where he was the favorite to win the gold medal, but finished in fifth place.
“I think that looking back in 2018, all I could think about was skating and not being able to, obviously, skate well. So I want to definitely be able to embrace the Games in a different way,” Chen told People prior to the start of the Olympics.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.