Figure skater Kamila Valieva received a four-year ban for doping
The GIST: Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) figure skater Kamila Valieva was handed a four-year ban for doping on Monday, resulting in a reallocation of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics medals.
The background: As discussed on yesterday’s episode of The GIST of It, this is the latest development in the bombshell doping scandal that rocked those Games. In 2022, Valieva arrived in Beijing with gold medal expectations, in part because she could land the extremely difficult quadruple jump.
- But, during the Games, Valieva tested positive for trimetazidine, a banned substance that increases blood flow and improves endurance. Although she was still permitted to compete in the team event, the podium ceremony was canceled, so no medals were handed out.
The impact: Fast forward to today: Valieva’s ban retroactively disqualifies her from all events at the Beijing Games, including the team event in which the ROC placed first. With Valieva’s contribution taken away from her team’s total score, the Americans moved into first place, officially winning the gold medal, with Japan collecting the silver.
- But even with the Valieva deduction, the ROC still beat the Canadians by one point and walked away with the bronze. Skate Canada is considering “all options to appeal.”
- And beyond the hardware, Valieva’s doping controversy sparked a lasting change in senior figure skating, prompting an increase in the minimum age to compete at the Games to 17 years old. Valieva was just 15 at the Beijing Games, a child failed by her team on the world stage.
Looking ahead: Valieva’s ban is backdated to the day she submitted the tainted sample, so her expulsion from the sport ends on December 25th, 2025 — just two months before the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan, Italy. However, the 17-year-old is no longer skating like the prodigy she was and may not be talented enough to make that team.