Russian teen at centre of fresh Olympics doping scandal

Kamila Valieva has reportedly failed a drug test taken some months prior to the Winter Olympics.
15-year-old Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva is reportedly at the centre of a potential doping investigation at the Beijing Winter Olympics. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Russia is at the centre of another Olympics doping scandal after reports emerged that 15-year-old ice skating phenom Kamila Valieva failed a drug test prior to the team competition.

The teenager made history earlier this week at the Beijing Winter Olympics when she became the first woman to land a quadruple jump at the Games.

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The never-before-seen feat earned ROC the gold medal in the teams competition, ahead of the US and China.

According to Russian media and Olympics website Inside the Games, the 'legal issue' around Valieva relates to a test taken by the teenager prior to the games.

As a result, the podium ceremony for the team competition has been delayed.

The International Testing Agency, the organisation responsible for drug testing for the Olympics, issued a statement soon after the delay.

"The ITA is aware of the various reports circulating regarding the postponed medal ceremony for the figure skating team event at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022," it said in a statement.

"Any announcement connected to these events would always be publicly issued on the ITA's website and not commented on otherwise.

"No such announcement has been published to date."

At just 15 years old, Valieva is considered a 'protected person' by the World Anti-Doping Authority, which states younger athletes 'may not possess the mental capacity to understand and appreciate the prohibitions against conduct contained in the Code'.

Well-known Russian journalist Vasily Konov reported that the test in question was taken by Valieva two months prior to the Games.

Other reports from Russia have suggested the drug Trimetazidine was involved, a substance used to treat chest pain.

The delay has prompted the Kremlin to issue a statement, with Russina president Vladimir Putin's spokesman asking fans to 'wait for some clarification from our sports officials, or from the IOC for understanding'.

The Russian Sports Ministry has also commented on the situation.

"The Russian Sports Ministry believes it will be too early to comment on media speculations about the delay of the team figure skating medal ceremony in Beijing before there is the official information on this score," they said via a statement.

"Russia is committed to firm and systematic resistance to all violations of sports rules and Olympic ethics."

Russian darling Kamila Valieva's nervous wait after Beijing heroics

Earlier in the Games, Valieva became just the fourth woman in Olympic skating history to land a triple axel.

Later, the Russian went one better and landed a quadruple jump to create history at the age of just 15 years old.

And remarkably, her program had not just one quadruple jump but three.

Valieva performed the first two with aplomb, but fell on the third attempt.

Despite falling, her routine was so audacious she received a score of 178.92.

This was 30 points more than Kaori Sakamoto who finished in second-place.

Kamila Valieva became the first woman to land a quadruple jump in Olympics history earlier this week. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Kamila Valieva became the first woman to land a quadruple jump in Olympics history earlier this week. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Two-time olympian and figure skating commentator Johnny Weir was full of praise for the 15-year-old phenom.

"If that performance didn't inspire the whole world to take up ice skating, I don't know what would," Weir said on NBC's broadcast.

Valieva holds the record for free skate, short program and total score, despite only being 15 years old.

ROC finished with gold after finishing third in the last two Winter Olympics.

The point tally in the event is the highest ever for the ROC.

ROC sit atop of the medal tally with two gold, two silver and two bronze.

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