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Another Olympics, another Russian doper. Russia has a state-sponsored doping program for their athletes, and over the years, Russian athletes have been stripped of Olympic medals and international championships because the athletes tested positive for steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. The International Olympic Committee banned Russian athletes from competing as punishment, but all that means is that Russians aren’t competing under the Russian flag. They’re called ROC (Russian Olympic Committee) and reportedly, the Russian athletes in competition are not given any kind of benefit of the doubt. Except when there’s a positive doping test for a 15-year-old wunderkind ice skater, apparently. Russian teen Kamila Valieva has gotten a lot of press already during the Olympics, and she helped Team ROC take gold in the team event this week. But as it turns out, she tested positive for a banned substance in December.

Russian teenage figure skater Kamila Valieva failed a drug test taken in December before the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, the International Testing Agency (ITA) confirmed Friday. Fifteen-year-old Valieva, a breakout star of the Games who helped the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) take home gold in Monday’s figure skating team event, was allowed to compete despite testing positive for the banned heart drug trimetazidine, which is commonly used to treat people with angina, the ITA said in a statement.

The failed test only came to light during the Winter Olympics, and it remains unclear if the drug test controversy will see the medal revoked. The scandal continues to delay the awarding of medals to all three teams, silver for Team USA and bronze for Team Japan.

“The decision on the results of the ROC team in the Team Figure Skating event can be taken … only after a final decision on the full merits of the case has been taken,” the ITA said. The case will be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), with a decision needed before the figure skating star’s next event — the women’s singles short program — on Tuesday, in which she is favorite to take gold.

In that hearing, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will challenge a decision by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) to lift a provisional suspension on the skater, according to the ITA. Responding to the controversy, the ROC said Valieva had “repeatedly passed doping tests” while already in Beijing, adding that it is taking measures to keep Valieva’s “honestly won” gold.

The ITA, which leads the anti-doping program for the Beijing Winter Olympics, said Valieva’s drug sample was taken at the Russian Figure Skating Championships in Saint Petersburg on December 25. However, it took until February 8 for a laboratory in Sweden to report it had detected a banned substance — one day after the ROC won gold at the team event in Beijing.

[From CNN]

What a complete catastrophe for the Olympics, for ice skating, for the medalists, and for Russia. First of all, who is giving a 15-year-old kid performance-enhancing angina drugs? Second of all, she should have never been able to compete. I feel sorry for Kamila and I understand that she was truly just taking what she was given, but yeah, she should have never been able to compete. This is also a complete failure of the anti-doping agencies to test and inform in a timely manner, so it’s a huge bureaucratic mess too. Ugh. So what happens now? Will ROC’s gold medal be yanked? Will Kamila be banned from the sport? What a mess.

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