Kamila Valieva’s Fishy Heart Drug ‘Cocktail’ Inflames Fury Over Olympic Doping Fairness
A young Russian figure skater hoping to win two gold medals at the Beijing Winter Olympics despite a failed doping test has in fact taken a heart-boosting drug. appear.
The news has angered Americans about the apparent special treatment given to a 15-year-old boy Kamila Valieva in the face of increasingly clear evidence of doping.
Valieva became the breakout star of the Beijing Olympics after leading Russia to a team gold medal last week, hitting the first quad jump by any woman in Olympic competition.
The next day, it was reported that a doping sample she had given on December 25 at the Russian national championships in St.
The Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport, affected by testing delays and her “protected person” status because of her young age, ruled that she should be allowed to continue playing in Beijing. She was the favorite for winning the individual freestyle gold after taking the lead on Tuesday’s short show.
Valieva’s lawyer told the CAS panel that she must have accidentally taken trimetazidine, explaining that her grandfather, who took her to Moscow for training, used it to treat a heart condition.
But last night, Valieva listed two more heart-healthy drugs on an anti-doping control form ahead of the Olympics, adding to the confusion.
Two other drugs, L-carnitine and Hypoxen, are legal, although both have been implicated in the doping prowess of elite athletes. Hypoxen, which the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) wants to ban, is designed to increase oxygen flow to the heart. L-carnitine, a supplement that also increases oxygen levels, has been banned within certain limits; it is at the center of a doping case against athletics coach Alberto Salazar.
Travis Tygart, executive director of the US Anti-Doping Agency, said the presence of all three drugs indicated something was up. “It was unbelievable and raised a lot of questions,” he said Time of London. “It is hard to believe that a young person as young as 15 has the ability, access and money to use these substances, so it raises the question of who is behind this. It seems pretty sophisticated.”
Tygart also said that the amount of trimetazidine found in Valieva’s blood, at 2.1 nanograms per milliliter, was 200 times the amount found in another athlete’s blood that had been shown to be contaminated and consistent. than with “terminal of excretion” – meaning having taken the drug in the previous days.
All told, the latest news makes it even less likely that Kamila Valieva International Fan Club will open a branch in the US soon.
The CAS decision to allow Valieva to compete in Beijing – the IOC has warned that her results will be temporary – has sparked anger around the world, but nowhere more so than in the United States.
When the young Russian took part in the short program of the individual event on Tuesday, the usual NBC commentators Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir fell silent. As former Olympic athletes, the pair know how to capture the technical and emotional competitive demands of a figure skater’s routine. This time they had nothing to say.
“All I feel can say is, it was Kamila Valieva’s short show at the Olympics,” said Weir gleefully as the Russian left the field in tears despite the performance that put her in the spotlight. gold medal position. Lipinski, the 1998 Olympic champion, added: “We shouldn’t have seen this skate.
US officials and commentators shared their anger. Sarah Hirshland, the head of the US Olympic Games, said it was “another chapter in Russia’s systematic and widespread disregard for pure sport”. USA Today Commentator Christine Brennan called it a “dark day” for the fight against doping. And Barry Svrluga’s The Washington Post be censured The IOC decided to delay any medal ceremonies if Valieva took to the podium: “That was perfect: Why take away an athlete when you can take them all away?”
Sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson, forced to miss the Tokyo Summer Olympics last year after testing positive for marijuana, had a more personal beef. “Can we have a definite answer as to the difference between her situation and the mine?” she tweeted. “The only difference I see is that I’m a young black girl.”
At a briefing in Beijing on Wednesday, IOC spokesman Mark Adams dismissed Richardson’s complaint, pointing out that the Americans’ failed drug test took place a month before the Olympics Tokyo and the suspension is obvious. Valieva’s anti-doping samples were kept in a laboratory in Stockholm for at least five weeks.
“You cannot talk about double standards in relations with Russian and American athletes. Each case is individual,” Adams said. “There is nothing in common between these two cases.”
Tygart, the head of USADA, has warned that US prosecutors could invoke the Rodchenkov Act to target those around her, with both fines and prison sentences, if the US athlete loses because she uses drugs. The US finished second in the team event and will compete for a gold medal if Russia is eliminated.
However, the bad feeling in Beijing goes both ways, with Russian athletes – officially competing under the banner of the Russian Olympic Committee because their country is banned from attending sporting events. internationally for their state-sponsored systematic doping – seemingly reveling in their pariah status.
Young Russian speed racer Daniil Aldoshkin has forced to apologize after holding up his two middle fingers in a defiant celebration following his win over Team USA in the men’s team pursuit semi-final on Tuesday. “I apologize if this has offended anyone,” he said. “In speed skating, we fight against time, not against our opponents. It was quite an emotional response.”
On Thursday, focus returned to Beijing’s Capital Indoor Stadium, which is hosting the figure skating competition and where Valieva is expected to claim her second gold medal in the Worlds. this opportunity.
There will be no Americans in contention when Valieva and her teammates in Russia’s ”4-man Squad” win the medals.
However, the Capital Indoor Stadium has earned a place in the footnotes of US sports history. On April 13, 1971, an estimated 20,000 people gathered in the newly built arena to watch nine American table tennis players play host China in a friendly match.
It was an extraordinary event – no Americans have been allowed into China since the communists came to power in 1949 – and the beginning of what became known as “ping-pong diplomacy”. Less than a year later, President Richard made a groundbreaking visit to Beijing, paving the way for full trade relations.
It was the moment when sportsmanship and bonhomie could change the world for the better, bringing people of different countries together. It’s like a life before.