Sports

Kamila Valieva: Russian figure skater accused of doping finishes in 4th in individual competition

Kamila Valieva figure skating
Posted at 9:26 AM, Feb 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-17 09:42:45-05

Kamila Valieva, the 15-year-old Russian figure skater at the center of a doping scandal, has finished in fourth place in the individual competition.

Her Russian teammates Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova finished with gold and silver medals, respectively, while Japan's Kaori Sakamoto held onto the bronze medal.

Valieva's disappointing performance in the long program marked a stunning fall for an athlete widely considered the favorite in the individual competition.

The result comes days after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that she could compete in the individual competition, even after reports emerged that a drug test she took in December found she tested positive for a banned substance.

Her positive test for trimetazidine only came to light after she had helped the Russians win gold in the team competition. She made history by becoming the first woman ever to land a quadruple jump in competition during that event.

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.

But her December test also showed she was taking two legal drugs that improve heart functions, raising questions about her explanation of accidental ingestion.

In its ruling, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said Valieva should be able to compete because she is a minor — what they referred to as a "protected person." However, they said that no medal ceremony would be held for the team figure skating competition.

Had Valieva finished on the podium in the individual competition, Olympic officials would have also canceled that medal ceremony.

Russia is already serving a punishment in connection with a state-sponsored doping scandal during the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. Russian athletes are not permitted to compete under their country's flag and are instead being referred to as athletes of the Russian Olympic Committee.