Winter Olympics: Russian figure skater reportedly tests positive for banned drug

BEIJING — Kamila Valieva, the 15-year-old Russian figure skater who became the first woman to land a quadruple jump during Olympic competition, has tested positive for a banned substance, Russian media outlets reported.

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The reports put in jeopardy Russia’s team gold medal that she helped win earlier this week, according to The Associated Press.

Update 12:11 a.m. EST Feb. 10: Valieva practiced as usual Thursday, hours after the reports, according to The Associated Press.

It is unclear whether Russia is appealing the test result.

“She is not suspended,” Russian figure skating federation spokeswoman Olga Ermolina said. She did not elaborate.

Original report: Newspapers RBC and Kommersant named the drug as trimetazidine, according to ESPN. The drug is a heart medicine that is typically used to treat chest pain.

Trimetazidine is classified by the World Anti-Doping Agency as a hormone and metabolic modulator on the agency’s list of prohibited substances. It is banned by WADA as a stimulant, according to the AP.

Reuters was unable to reach officials with the Russian Olympic Committee for comment. Earlier, the ROC declined to comment on reports that Valieva had tested positive, the news outlet reported.

Valieva elicited cheers when she landed what would be the first of her two quads on the ice Monday during the women’s free skate competition. The feat helped Russia win the gold in the team event with 74 points.

The U.S. took silver in the team event Monday with 65 points, followed by Japan at 63 points. Canada took fourth place with 53 points.

Valieva’s sample was reportedly obtained in December when she was still in Russia, according to the AP.

Citing an unidentified source, USA Today first reported Wednesday morning that the medal ceremony for the Olympic figure skating team competition was delayed by the positive drug test. Previously, Olympics officials said only that a legal issue had prompted the delay.

“The situation arose today at short notice which requires legal consultation with the (International Skating Union),” Mark Adams, spokesperson for the International Olympic Committee, said Wednesday at a media briefing. “You’ll appreciate (that) because there’s legal implications involved in this, I can’t really talk very much more about it during this stage.”

He characterized the situation as an “emerging issue.”

Check back for updates to this developing story.

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