Winter Olympics hit by fresh scandal as third athlete tests positive

Valentyna Kaminska and Kamila Valieva, pictured here at the Winter Olympics.
Valentyna Kaminska has joined Kamila Valieva in testing positive at the Winter Olympics. Image: Getty

The Winter Olympics has been hit by more scandal after Ukrainian cross-country skier Valentyna Kaminska tested positive for prohibited substances on Wednesday.

The International Testing Agency said the Belarus-born skier's adverse analytical finding included mesterolone, an anabolic androgenic steroid, as well as stimulants.

WHOOPS: Skier blows gold medal with embarrassing blunder

'ABSOLUTE HEARTBREAK': Olympics rocked by devastating moment

The sample was collected during an in-competition anti-doping control last Thursday at the Beijing Games. Kaminska has been provisionally suspended as a result.

The 34-year-old competed in the 10 kilometre classic, the free sprint and the women's 4x5km relay in Beijing, with the test coming on the day of the 10km classic.

Valentyna Kaminska, pictured here competing in the women's cross-country sprint qualification at the Winter Olympics.
Valentyna Kaminska competes in the women's cross-country sprint qualification at the Winter Olympics. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

"The athlete has been informed of the case and has been provisionally suspended until the resolution of the matter," the statement said.

Kaminska has the right to challenge the imposition of the provisional suspension before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The Ukrainian, who competed for Belarus at the 2014 and 2018 Olympics before switching nationality, also has the right to request the analysis of a B-sample.

She is the third athlete to test positive at the Beijing Games after Iranian alpine skier Hossein Saveh Shemshaki and Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva.

Major controversy over Kamila Valieva

There has also been major controversy over 15-year-old Russian Valieva.

She tested positive for a banned heart medication on December 25, but news of the test was only revealed after she helped the Russians to gold in the figure skating team event.

CAS decided she could continue competing at Beijing because of her age and the length it had taken for the positive test to be confirmed.

She leads the individual standings heading into Thursday's free skate.

Kamila Valiyeva, pictured here practicing during a training session at the Winter Olympics.
Kamila Valiyeva practices during a training session at the Winter Olympics. (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)

On Wednesday it emerged that Valieva listed two legal substances used to improve heart function on an anti-doping form before her case at the Olympics erupted.

A brief filed by the World Anti-Doping Agency stated that the existence of L-carnitine and Hypoxen, while they are legal substances, undercuts the argument that a banned substance, trimetazidine, might have entered the skater's system accidentally.

Hypoxen is a drug designed to increase oxygen flow to the heart.

It was a substance the US Anti-Doping Agency unsuccessfully tried to have added to the banned list.

L-carnitine, another oxygen-boosting performance enhancer, is banned if injected above certain thresholds. The supplement was the focal point of the doping case involving track coach Alberto Salazar.

Combining those with 2.1 nanograms of trimetazidine, the drug found in Valieva's system after a December 25 test, is "an indication that something more serious is going on," USADA chief executive Travis Tygart said.

"You use all of that to increase performance," he said, adding "it totally undermines the credibility" of Valieva's defence.

with agencies

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.