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Russian figure skater's use of 2 legal drugs raises questions about her excuse for failed drug test

Kamila Valieva
Posted at 7:43 AM, Feb 16, 2022

ZHANGJIAKOU, China — Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva listed two legal substances used to improve heart function on an anti-doping control form she filled out before her drug case at the Olympics erupted, according to documents submitted in her case.

On Wednesday, the World Anti-Doping Agency filed a brief in the Valieva case stating that the existence of legal drugs L-carnitine and Hypoxen undercuts the argument that the banned substance trimetazidine might have entered the skater's system accidentally.

Valieva said Tuesday that trimetazidine was an ingredient in her grandfather's heart medication. Her attorney claims the substance may have entered Valieva's system by drinking from a communal glass or through a similar method.

Valieva tested positive for a banned medication in December, but the result only came to light after she had helped the Russians win team gold last week. During that event, she made history by becoming the first woman ever to land a quadruple jump in competition.

She's currently in first place in the individual competition.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled early Monday that Valieva, 15, should be allowed to compete in part because she is a minor, known as a "protected person," and is subject to different rules from an adult athlete.

The ruling noted that there would not be a medal ceremony for the team figuring skating competition as the investigation into Valieva's drug test continues. There will also not be a medal ceremony if Valieva finishes on the podium in the individual competition.

Russia is currently serving a punishment connected to a widespread doping state-sponsored doping scandal during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Russian athletes cannot compete under their country name and flag at the Beijing games. Instead, they're being referred to as the "Russian Olympic Committee."

The IOC has been criticized for not doling out harsher punishment to Russia following the 2014 doping scandal.