Foul Play: 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics Received Negatively After A Positive Drug Test - The Scene

The Olympics lost points from viewers during its ongoing doping scandal.

The Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games is being criticized for its alleged failure to prevent an athlete, who previously tested positive for a drug test, from competing.

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The International Testing Agency (ITA) that leads the anti-doping program for this year’s games released an official statement on figure skater Kamila Valieva of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) delegation in Beijing.

The agency said a sample from Valieva was collected under the authority of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) on December 25 last year during the Russian Figure Skating Championships in Saint Petersburg.

A Sweden-based laboratory accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency then reported that the sample returned for non-specified prohibited substance trimetazidine on February 8. Trimetazidine is classified under Hormone and Metabolic Modulators, according to the Prohibited List of the World Anti-Doping Code.

Suspension suspended

Following the positive result, the RUSADA provisionally suspended Valieva. Pursuant to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Anti-Doping Rules applicable to the Beijing games, RUSADA’s penalty automatically prohibited the athlete from participating in all sports during the provisional suspension, including the Olympic Winter Games.

However, since RUSADA collected the sample ahead of the games, the case does not fall under the jurisdiction of the IOC and the ITA. The testing agency, nonetheless, informed Valieva that the suspension is binding upon the IOC and prevents her from competing, training, coaching, or participating in any activity during the games.

Since the case is outside the authority of the Olympic committee, on top of the 15-year-old’s status as a Protected Person under the World Anti-Doping Code, the ITA abstained from publicly disclosing the case so as to protect the minor’s identity and welfare.

To make matters worse, Valieva challenged the decision of the RUSADA Disciplinary Anti-Doping Committee, which then decided to lift the provisional suspension and allow her to participate in the games.

The WADA, IOC, RUSADA, and the International Skating Union have the right to appeal the said decision before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), based on the World Anti-Doping Code.

Fair competition

The Ad Hoc Division of the CAS has since controversially dismissed all appeals and affirmed the lifting of the provisional suspension.

Meanwhile, the ROC has maintained that the athlete passed numerous doping tests before and during the figure skating tournament, with all results supposedly returning negative.

“Given the fact that the positive sample of the Athlete was not taken during the Olympic Games, the results of the athlete and the results of the team event during the Olympic Games are not subject to automatic revision,” the committee said in an official statement.

It said that it is taking comprehensive measures in protecting its team members and “keeping the Olympic gold medal won in fair competition.”

The IOC announced that any podium finish for Valieva means that no medal ceremony will be held during the games.

Banner Photo by CGTN

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