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A sample provided by a teenage Russian figure skater to an anti-doping lab ahead of the Beijing Games included three substances that are sometimes used to aid the heart, according to a document filed at her arbitration hearing on Sunday.
Skater, Kamila Valieva, was cleared to continue competing at the Games by a panel of referees on Monday, even though a drug found in her system, trimetazidine, is on the list of banned drugs by world drug officials. doping. Valieva, 15, provided the sample in December, but Russian anti-doping officials said they only learned of her positive result last week.
But according to documents reviewed by The New York Times and confirmed by someone who attended the hearing, the Stockholm lab that examined Valieva’s sample also found evidence of two other substances. which can treat the heart but are not prohibited. listing. Valieva even listed them, Hypoxen and L-carnitine, on a doping control form.
The presence of trimetazidine in Valieva’s system may have been a mistake, Russian and Olympic officials have suggested. But the discovery of multiple substances in the sample of an elite athlete, particularly one as young as Valieva, was highly unusual, according to a prominent anti-doping official.
“It’s a trifecta of substances – two of which are allowed and one of which is not allowed,” said Travis Tygart, director general of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, when told of the discovery. He added that the benefits of such a combination “appear to be aimed at increasing endurance, reducing fatigue and promoting greater efficiency in the use of oxygen.”
Earlier on Tuesday, a member of the International Olympic Committee’s executive board told reporters that Valieva’s positive result may have come from a case of contamination from drugs her grandfather was taking. And in testimony given at an earlier hearing with Russian anti-doping officials on February 9, and later presented as evidence at Sunday’s hearing in Beijing, Valieva’s mother said her daughter had taken Hypoxen due to cardiac “variations”.
Valieva’s grandfather did not testify at the initial hearing in Russia, but provided video shot in a car, according to part of the document. In the video, according to the document, he said he periodically used trimetazidine when he suffered “attacks” and showed a packet of the drug to the camera. Valieva’s mother said in her testimony to the Russian hearing that Valieva’s grandfather accompanied the teenager to daily practice and stayed with Valieva until her mother came home from work.
L-carnitine, a natural substance that converts fat into energy, has surfaced in significant doping cases in the past. In 2019, Alberto Salazar, then a coach to some of the world’s best distance runners, was banned from the sport for four years in part for giving his athletes inappropriate infusions of the substance in an attempt to boost their performance. Salazar’s ban has since become permanent.
L-carnitine is allowed when taken orally, Tygart said, but prohibited if given in large amounts by infusion or IV because it could give an unfair performance-enhancing advantage. It was unclear how Valieva took the supplement, or the concentration in her sample.
The World Anti-Doping Agency, which is responsible for controlling doping in world sport, declined to comment on the document. Russia’s anti-doping agency, known as Rusada, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The document said Valieva declared three products on a doping control form that was submitted with the now-failed test. These products, according to the document, were L-carnitine, Hypoxen and Supradyn, an immunity-boosting supplement.
WADA was among the organizations that pushed for Valieva to be suspended from competition – which would have effectively ended her Olympics – last week after revelations that she had tested positive became public the following day. from the day she helped Russian skaters win gold in the team competition in Beijing. .
Cleared to compete by a panel of referees on Monday, Valieva returned to the ice on Tuesday and took first place in the women’s singles short program. She is expected to win the event after Thursday’s free skate.