The drug from the Winter Olympics scandal was regularly taken by Russian athletes in the midst of doping

The drug from the Winter Olympics scandal was regularly taken by Russian athletes in the midst of doping

The banned performance-enhancing drug at the heart of the figure skating doping scandal unfolding at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing was routinely administered to Russian athletes at the height of state-sponsored doping in that country, reports the Mail on Sunday.

Grigory Rodchenkov, the head of the Moscow laboratory whose testimony led to the exposure of the Russian doping scandal, said he covered up positive test results of Russian athletes for the same drug, trimetazidine, ahead of the Sochi Winter Games in 2014, when Russia topped the medal table.

In the past 48 hours, it has been officially confirmed that 15-year-old Kamila Valieva tested positive for trimetazidine in December.

The teenager won gold in the 2022 Games team figure skating on Monday before the awards ceremony was postponed on Tuesday as only then was the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) lab in Sweden confirmed a positive result from a December test.

There was no explanation why the Stockholm lab took so long to process the December sample; it happened on February 7th.

Valieva has shown outstanding results with her team, becoming the first figure skater in the Olympics to complete a “quadruple jump”, which includes four full rotations.

Grigory Rodchenkov said that he concealed the positive tests of Russian athletes for a drug implicated in a doping scandal in figure skating.

Grigory Rodchenkov said that he concealed the positive tests of Russian athletes for a drug implicated in a doping scandal in figure skating.

Her situation raises troubling questions about whether she was unknowingly a victim of child doping and whether the Russian state continues to help its athletes with illegal drugs.

Valieva’s coach, Eteri Tutberidze, known for her brutal training methods, was able to see her athletes win as many as five gold medals in Beijing in those two weeks.

Trimetazidine is a heart drug that can increase blood flow efficiency and improve endurance, and is abused by some Russian athletes to improve performance. The drug is banned by WADA both in and out of competition.

Russia is not officially taking part in the 2022 Olympics, but instead its athletes compete under the pseudonym “Russian Olympic Committee (ROC)” after the International Olympic Committee imposed sanctions on the country for running a doping program ahead of the Olympics. Winter Games Sochi 2014.

This state-sponsored doping organized by Rodchenkov was first detailed by this newspaper in July 2013. allowed to corrupt Sochi 2014.

Rodchenkov subsequently fled Russia and became a whistleblower, leading to the exposure of a widespread scam in his country involving thousands of athletes in dozens of sports.

Rodchenkov reported that trimetazidine was routinely given to Russian athletes during the height of the state-sponsored doping years.

Rodchenkov reported that trimetazidine was routinely given to Russian athletes during the height of the state-sponsored doping years.

Rodchenkov said he concealed the positive doping tests of Russian athletes for trimetazidine ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. “Trimetazidine was put on the banned list before Sochi 2014,” he says. “Trimetazidine, we also had positive results, but we did not disclose them.”

In particular, in January 2014, according to Rodchenkov, he was instructed by a Russian sports official to report the negative result of a urine test containing trimetazidine provided by skier Maxim Vylegzhanin, who won three silver medals in Sochi. At that time, the drug was banned only during competitions, although now it is always banned.

Rodchenkov claims he told officials to tell Vylegzhanin and his Sochi gold-winning training partner Alexander Legkov to stop taking the drug in case they tested positive at the Sochi Games a few weeks later.

Both men were subsequently stripped of their results in Sochi for unrelated anti-doping offenses and then reinstated following an appeal to CAS.

Rodchenkov says that trimetazidine has a long history of abuse in Russian sports, and that sports authorities were aware of its use at the 2006 European Athletics Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva (above), 15, won gold in China but tested positive for trimetazidine in December.

Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva (above), 15, won gold in China but tested positive for trimetazidine in December.

At those championships, packages of trimetazidine were found in the trash cans of Russian athletes’ hotels, along with empty ampoules of another drug, meldonium, also used to treat heart disease. Former Russian world No. 1 Maria Sharapova tested positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.

“For 10 years they (the Russian sports authorities) have been telling Russian athletes: ‘Why do you still leave ampoules with meldonium and ampoules with trimetazidine in the trash?’,” says Rodchenkov.

At the last Winter Games in 2018 in Pyeongchang, Russian bobsledder Nadezhda Sergeeva was also found to have trimetazidine. In the same year, American swimmer Madisin Cox also failed a drug test in what appears to be the first reported case of trimetazidine supplement contamination. No explanation as to why Valieva tested positive has yet to be put forward.

The minutes of the WADA Executive Board relating to Gothenburg in 2006 confirm Rodchenkov’s claims. ‘By the end [Gothenburg] games, medical supplies, and empty ampoules were found in trash cans near hotels where certain teams were staying, casting a big shadow over the competition,” reads one note from the time.

The World Anti-Doping Agency laboratory in Sweden confirmed Valieva's positive test back in December.

The World Anti-Doping Agency laboratory in Sweden confirmed Valieva’s positive test back in December.

The big question now is why the 15-year-old skater is taking the heart drugs that Russian athletes have been abusing for over two decades for any reason other than illegal performance enhancement.

Between 2016 and 2018, many Russian athletes applied for a medical exemption to take trimetazidine for “unspecified cardiovascular” conditions. The applications were rejected by the anti-doping authorities.

The Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA is the body that allowed Valieva to compete in Beijing despite knowing she had failed a drug test in December. WADA appealed the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to disqualify Valieva until the start of the singles competition this week.

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