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Figure skating star Valieva fails drug test

A Russian figure skating star on Tuesday was informed that she failed her drug test, a day after her team won gold at the Beijing Olympics.

Figure Skating Star Kamila Valieva in Women's short programme of Beijing 2022 Olympic games (Photo: Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY sports)

Russia continues to be shrouded in drug related scandals as Kamila Valieva, the 15-year-old Russian figure skating star who helped her team win gold at the Winter Games, failed a drugs test.

Valieva, who was the first female skater to land a quadruple jump in competition as her team won last Monday, had a sample collected on 25 December at the Russian Figure Skating Championships in St Petersburg.

According to BBC sport, the positive result was only reported on Tuesday - the day after she helped to win team gold, but before the medal ceremony had taken place.

Valieva tested positive for trimetazidine, which is used in the prevention of angina attacks, but is on the banned list because it is classed as a cardiac metabolic modulator and has been proven to improve physical efficiency.

A series of appeals means this case will now be taken to the Court of Arbitration for Sport before a final ruling is given.

The medals for the team event - in which the United States finished second, Japan third and Canada fourth - will not be awarded until the outcome of the hearing.

The case will be heard before Valieva's scheduled appearance in the individual women's figure skating event, which starts next Tuesday, 15 February.

Valieva competed in the European Figure Skating Championships in Tallinn, Estonia, in January - which was between the positive test and the Winter Olympics - and won the women's singles, with Russian claiming a clean sweep of the gold medals.

The ROC pointed out that Valieva's samples taken at the Europeans and before the Beijing Winter Olympics were both negative, adding:

"Taking into account that the positive doping sample of the athlete was not collected during the Olympic Games, the results of the athlete and the results of the team event during the Olympic Games are not automatically subject to review."

The adverse finding was reported on 7 February and Valieva was notified of the positive result on 8 February.

Valieva was provisionally suspended but she challenged the decision and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) agreed to lift it on 9 February - enabling her to continue at the Beijing Games.

Because of her age, Valieva was not confirmed as the athlete at the centre of "legal issues" delaying the medal ceremony, until it was widely reported in the media on 10 February. The ITA confirmed those reports on 11 February because of "heightened public interest".

Russian Olympic Committee President Stanislav Pozdnyakov attends the presentation of Russian Olympic judo team in Moscow (Photo:

Russian Olympic Committee president Stanislav Pozdnyakov told the Tass News Agency that the long gap between the 25 December test and the 8 February result looked suspicious and that he had "serious questions about the process".

Russian athletes are competing under the name of the Russian Olympic Committee because Russia received a two-year ban from Wada in 2019 for its state-sponsored doping programme.

Between 17 December 2020 and 17 December 2022, no athlete can represent Russia at the Olympics, Paralympics or World Championships.

The ban was originally for four years but was later reduced to two.

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