Olympic Skater Kamila Valieva Caught in Substance Scandal!


Photo Courtesy of People.com

Chloe M. Liles, Staff Writer

During the Olympics in Beijing, the Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva was caught with multiple substances in her system that increased her performance. Since she is only 15, WADA’s doping code did not apply to her and she was allowed to continue competing.

Kamila Valieva won gold in the team figure skating event, and she was the first woman to land a quadruple jump. She was also the first woman to surpass a score of 90 in the short program, as told by . Unfortunately, on Feb. 8. Valieva was caught with the drug trimetazidine in her system, which is a heart medication designed to speed up the metabolism of fatty acids, in accordance with npr.org. Increasing metabolism allows the body to use more oxygen which, in turn, helps performance and relieves chest pains.

“If you increase the blood flow to the heart, you could potentially increase the performance of the heart, which may in turn enhance the performance of the athlete,” stated Eugene DePasquale, a cardiologist.

According to npr.org, Valieva said that she accidentally ingested the medication when she took a drink out of her grandfather’s water, who uses trimetazidine. Authorities state that it’s unlikely that is true since it’s an oral medication, but it is possible for it to dissolve in a glass of water. However, Valieva is considered to be a protected person because she’s 15 and the WADA’s doping code only applies to athletes 16 and older.

Some people say that Valieva might have purposely taken the drug because of the pressure she was under during the Olympics; competing in such a renowned competition as a minor created an insurmountable amount of pressure that was difficult to handle. People are also beginning to question Valieva’s coach, Eteri Tutberidze. Tutberidze is a world-renowned coach who has led many skaters to victory throughout the Olympics, but she has also been the cause of their downfall.

One of her students was diagnosed with anorexia after she retired while another one had her back permanently damaged. It is said by slate.com that Tutberidze only lets her athletes eat powdered nutrients, gives them puberty blockers, weighs them daily, and abuses them both physically and verbally. As a result, all of Valieva’s coaches, doctors, and any adults in contact with her are now being investigated to see if she was possibly pressured to take the medication.

“To see her there struggling on the ice…you could feel that this is immense mental stress and maybe she would have preferred just to leave the ice and try to leave this story behind her,” stated Thomas Bach, a fencer and Olympic gold medalist .