ROC figure skater who tested positive for trimetazidine at Winter Olympics is a minor, sources say

ROC figure skater who tested positive for trimetazidine at Winter Olympics is a minor, sources say

The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity.

CNN has confirmed that Kamila Valieva, 15, is the only minor on the six-person team representing the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).
Figure skaters have not yet received their medals in the team event at Beijing 2022. The medal ceremony was due to be held on Tuesday evening local time but was removed from the events list.
The ROC team won the gold medal, followed by the United States which took silver. Bronze went to Japan and Canada came in fourth place.

It is unclear if any action will be taken, or if the athlete will be allowed to continue competing in the Games, given the age of the competitor.

It remains unclear exactly when the positive test was taken.

However, Russian newspaper RBC Sport reported that a sample taken in December from one of the six Russian team members tested positive for trimetazidine, according to a source familiar with the situation, and a source in the Russian Figure Skating Federation.

Trimetazidine is a drug used to treat people with a heart condition known as angina. It is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) banned list.

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“In a doping sample taken… in December, no drugs were found. We are talking about trimetazidine, in minimal proportions,” said one source, reported by RBC Sport.

While the IOC has not mentioned any athletes in connection with the case, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova posted a video on Twitter Thursday expressing her support for Valieva.

“Miracles can be simply right in front of us, and what Kamila Valieva did is a true miracle. I can explain why this is a miracle. It is a miracle because after she completed her program she won hearts of the whole world,” Zakharova said.

“This is phenomenal. We see again, in front of our eyes this clash of good and evil and the desire of evil to make the amount of good as little as possible, so that good would lose its power.”

Valieva made history on Monday by becoming the first woman to land a quad at the Games. She went on to win the free skate event, helping her team take the gold. On Thursday, Valieva was seen practicing on the ice in a scheduled practice session.

CNN has reached out to the IOC and ROC, and the International Testing Agency for comment but has not yet received a response.

What has the IOC said?

International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesman Mark Adams said Thursday he wouldn’t comment on “speculation” over the case and couldn’t answer if the medal ceremony would go ahead.

“At the moment, it’s speculation… We have to wait with patience for this case to find its way to some kind of conclusion,” Adams said.

He reiterated his Wednesday comments that an “emerging issue” arose at short notice that required “legal consultation with the International Skating Union.”

“There’s a legal issue going on, I can’t say anything more than that,” he said Thursday.

Team USA told CNN in a statement, “we don’t have all the details” as to why the medal ceremony was postponed.

“But in situations like this, it’s about more than gold. It’s about the integrity of fair sport and accountability,” the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) spokeswoman Kate Harman said. The US team won silver in the team figure skating event.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he was waiting on further details before commenting.

“So far we have not heard the official statements, let’s still judge by the official statements. So far, these are only sources in the media. Let’s wait for clarification either from our sports officials or from the IOC,” Peskov said.

The Ministry of Sports of the Russian Federation also said it was premature to comment on the postponement of the awards ceremony, according to Russian sports channel Match-TV.

“The position of the Russian Federation is to steadily and consistently oppose all types of violations of sports rules and Olympic ethics,” the ministry said, according to Match TV.

What is the ROC?

Russian athletes are unable to compete in the Olympics under their country’s name or flag due to sanctions from the IOC and WADA for failing to cooperate with anti-doping rules.

However, athletes who can prove that they are clean from performance enhancing drugs are able to compete under the ROC flag.

Russia is technically banned from competing in all international sporting events until December 2022 after it was found to have ran a state-sponsored doping program. This ban covers both the 2022 Winter Games and 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

WADA’s compliance review committee suggested sanctions in 2019 because the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) failed to fully cooperate during probes into the country’s sports.

Ahead of the Beijing Games, the anti-doping agency made clear that although Russia is now following anti-doping rules, it shouldn’t assume sanctions will automatically be lifted when the country’s suspension ends.

CNN’s Gawon Bae, Mitch McCluskey, AnneClaire Stapleton, Homero De La Fuente and Aleks Klosok contributed to this report.

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Author: Shirley