15-Year-Old Kamila Valieva Allowed to Compete Despite Drug Test


Gantas Vaičiulėnas

15-year-old Ice skater tested positive for drug use and allowed to compete in the Olympics.

Sophia Cacoilo, Reporter

A Russian teenager, Kamila Valieva, 15, was cleared Monday to compete in the women’s Olympic figure skating competition despite a failed drug test that came to light during the Winter Games by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Valieva tested positive for trimetazidine on Christmas Day, a drug used to treat chest pain and angina, as well as increase blood flow to the heart which can improve an athlete’s endurance. Despite these results, it was not reported until February 8th, following the competition but, prior to medals being awarded for the team event. She was temporarily suspended by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) until she was allowed to come back. The International Olympic Committee appealed that decision, leading to Monday’s ruling in Valieva’s favor by the CAS.

The winter Olympics for ice skating is taking place this Tuesday in at the Capital Indoor Arena in Beijing, China with many excited to witness highly trained athletes in every country.  Despite the excitement, judges and coaches of athletes are in disagreement over Valieva’s continued place in the Olympics. Especially considering Sha’Carri Richardson similar situation a year ago.

Richardson, a black women aged 21, tested positive for marijuana and accepted a one-month suspension from track and field events beginning on June 28, 2021. This meant she missed the 2020 Tokyo Games which were delayed until July and August 2021. The main differences between the two cases being their age and race.

According to Sarah Hirshland, CEO of the United States Olympic Committee (USOPC), on the decision made, “We are disappointed by the message this decision sends, it is the collective responsibility of the entire Olympic community to protect the integrity of sport and to hold our athletes, coaches and all involved to the highest of standards.”

The International Olympic Committee responded to the ruling by declaring that no medals will be awarded for the women’s event if Valieva finishes in the top three, until the full inquiry into the circumstances of her drug use infraction runs its course.