- The Russian Olympic Committee has found itself at the center of a drug scandal in Beijing.
- Several outlets have reported that 15-year-old Kamila Valieva may have tested positive for a banned substance.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has refused to confirm whether the Russian athlete at the center of a doping scandal in Beijing
On Wednesday, two days after the Russian Olympic Committee figure skating team won gold in the team competition, reports emerged that a member of the team had tested positive for the banned substance trimetazidine, a metabolic agent that helps prevent angina attacks.
The event’s medal ceremony, which was due to take place on Tuesday, was delayed due to what the IOC said were “legal issues”.
Multiple sources told the Guardian that Valieva, who became the first woman in Olympic history to land a quad jump during the event, may be the athlete who failed the doping test.
Separately, CNN reported, citing multiple sources, that the athlete who tested positive is underage. Valieva is the only Russian skater at the under-18 games.
The IOC, however, has not officially confirmed that Valieva tested positive, while the Russian Olympic Committee and the International Skating Union also declined to comment, reports The Guardian.
During a Thursday press briefing, Mark Adams, the IOC’s spokesperson during the games, said he could not comment on the situation, Insider reported earlier in the day.
According to The Guardian, Valieva’s case is being heard in an emergency hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Beijing.
If Valieva is confirmed as the athlete who tested positive, the Russian Olympic Committee will lose its team gold medal and the teenager will not be able to compete in the individual event next week.
It is unclear what other penalties, if any, she would face.
A Russian skating official declined to provide comment to The Guardian on Valieva’s case, as did the three Russian skaters who competed in the men’s figure skating final.
Russian journalist Vasily Konov, deputy general producer of Russian
“The drug trimetazidine does not help an athlete in any way. At all. It was found in a single sample in December. A trace amount. Nothing in his samples before or since,” he wrote, according to The Guardian .
“There is no doping in the conventional sense of the word. No! This heart medication has no impact on performance. Now leave Kamila alone.”