As The Blade Turns: Kamila Valieva's Grandfather (Russian Doping Scandal, Eteri Tutberidze)
A sample provided by a teenage Russian figure skater to an antidoping laboratory before the Beijing Games included three substances that are sometimes used to help the heart, according to a document filed in her arbitration hearing on Sunday.
The skater, Kamila Valieva, was cleared to continue competing in the Games by a panel of arbitrators on Monday even though a drug found in her system, trimetazidine, is on the list of drugs banned by global antidoping officials. Valieva, 15, provided the sample in December, but Russian antidoping officials said they had learned of her positive result only last week.
But according to documents reviewed by The New York Times and confirmed by someone who took part in the hearing, the Stockholm laboratory that carried out the examination of Valieva’s sample also found evidence of two other substances that can treat the heart but are not on the banned list. Valieva even listed them, Hypoxen and L-carnitine, on a doping control form.
The presence of trimetazidine in Valieva’s system may have been a mistake, Russian and Olympic officials have suggested. But the discovery of several substances in the sample of an elite athlete, especially one as young as Valieva, was highly unusual, according to a prominent antidoping official.
The U.S. could also take action against adults associated with the 15-year-old skater—like her Russian coaches and doctors—under the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act, which lets the U.S. prosecute other countries’ doping schemes when they involve international events at which U.S. athletes compete.
The head of the U.S. Doping Agency, Travis Tygart, told Reuters and CNN he was considering bringing charges under the Act, which was enacted in 2020 and carries penalties of up to $1 million in fines and up to 10 years in prison.
The Associated Press notes while it’s unlikely Valieva’s Russian coaches could successfully be taken in by U.S. authorities—which would require them to enter the U.S.—being found guilty of violating the law could keep them from traveling to a number of other countries that have extradition treaties with the U.S.
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