Positive Drug Test Raises Questions About Kamila Valieva’s Historic Olympic Skate

At just fifteen years old, Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva broke a record at the 2022 Winter Olympics as the first woman to land a quad Salchow at the Olympic Games, but after she tested positive for a drug test, the historic record was questioned. 

The Russian team is still banned from the Olympics until the end of 2022 for their history of athletes using drugs to enhance their performance. Russian athletes are still competing as the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC). 

“I honestly don’t want it to be true because I supported her and thought she was cool,” Lexy Hall ‘24 said. “It truly takes a portion of the joy out of watching the athletes compete if it’s not being done fairly.” 

Valieva reportedly tested positive for a drug called trimetazidine, a heart medication to control blood flow. It is listed as a banned drug for athletes by the World Anti-Doping Agency. If taken without prescription, it can enhance athlete performance. This was supposedly before she competed in the European Championships last month.

“I don’t blame her for the [positive] drug test because she’s a minor, therefore someone in the ROC, a coach or a leader, probably got her involved,” Hall said. “Being a minor makes it worse because the thought of a person younger than me taking harmful substances is truly concerning.” 

The Court of Arbitration for Sport decided that Valieva may continue skating in the Olympics, but she will not be able to receive any medals.