Le Pays De France - Russian Olympic teen skater Valieva tested positive for banned drug

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Russian Olympic teen skater Valieva tested positive for banned drug
Russian Olympic teen skater Valieva tested positive for banned drug

Russian Olympic teen skater Valieva tested positive for banned drug

Russian skating sensation Kamila Valieva failed a drugs test in December, Games testers confirmed Friday, and the IOC is now appealing against Russia's decision to allow her to continue competing in Beijing.

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The 15-year-old played a starring role in helping the Russian Olympic Committee win the figure skating team gold on Monday.

The result of a test she took during the Russian championships on December 25 was only communicated to Russian doping authorities the next day.

On Friday, soon after she was seen practising at the rink in Beijing, the International Testing Agency (ITA) publicly confirmed that traces of the banned substance trimetazidine were found in her sample.

Trimetazidine is a metabolic agent used for the treatment of angina and vertigo, but it is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency because it can increase blood flow efficiency and help endurance.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) suspended her and then lifted the ban, enabling her to continue at the Beijing Games.

Now the International Olympic Committee says it will challenge the decision to lift her suspension.

The International Skating Union (ISU) will also appeal and called on the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which will hear the case, to reinstate Valieva's suspension.

The court will make a decision before February 15, when Valieva is scheduled to take part in the individual event at the Olympics, the ITA said in a statement.

"The IOC will exercise its right to appeal," the ITA said.

- 'Serious questions' -

It is just the latest doping scandal surrounding Russian athletes in recent years at Olympic Games.

Russian competitors are taking part in Beijing as the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) after the nation was banned because of a massive state-sponsored doping scheme at its home 2014 Sochi Olympics.

The head of the Russian Olympic Committee Stanislav Pozdnyakov said he had "serious questions" over Valieva's test.

"The timings of sample processing raise serious questions," Pozdnyakov told the RIA Novosti news agency, suggesting the result had been deliberately timed to coincide with the Olympics.

"It seems like someone held the sample until the end of the team skating tournament," he added.

ROC said Valieva had the right to compete in Beijing and that her team gold medal should stand.

It said it wanted to "draw attention to the fact" that a test Valieva took during the Olympics "gave a negative result".

Valieva is one of the favourites to win the individual event next week.

She became the first woman in history to produce a quadruple jump at an Olympics to help Russia win the team gold.

The confirmation that she failed a doping test explains why the medals ceremony for the figure skating team event has not taken place.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said in Beijing: "We want to expedite this as quickly as possible.

"It's very important for everyone involved, not least the 15-year-old athlete that is concerned, that we have due process, that it's seen to be done properly and that people can have confidence in the decisions that are taken.

"We are working as fast as we can under the circumstances to get that.

"Such cases are not helpful to the Games," he added.