Kamila Valieva failed her drug test. Blame her coaches.

Valieva with Coach Eteri Tutberidze

The big question surrounding 15-year-old Kamila Valieva is whether or not she’ll be allowed to skate in the Olympic women’s individual event.

The International Testing Agency (ITA) said that Valieva, who helped the Russian women win the team event and became the first woman in history to land a quadruple jump at the Olympics, tested positive for trimetazidine, a banned heart medication that is purported to improve endurance. Russia wants her to skate, claiming a misunderstanding and perhaps Western jealousy. The ITA and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will attend a hearing on behalf of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to appeal Russia’s decision to let her skate. The International Skating Union (ISU) will determine medals and results after the hearing, which will happen before Tuesday’s event.

Lost in the shadow of this news, perhaps, are other important questions: how a 15-year-old girl got the medication, and why she would feel like taking it was a good idea.

“The saddest part [about the doping scandal] is that as a sport, and people who are fans of the Olympics, we want to celebrate that. That’s amazing. The way that Kamila Valieva was able to skate in that team competition is amazing,” US Olympic Skater Adam Rippon told the outlet.

He continued: “Every program she did, I was one of the first people to stand up because I was in awe of what I was seeing. And, they ruined that. They ruined that for her, and they ruined it for all of us who really were so excited that there was this incredible talent.”

The Insider

Valieva, along with her quad-landing teammates Alexandra Trusova and Anna Shcherbakova, all train with coach Eteri Tutberidze. Tutberidze is the single most dominant coach in women’s figure skating, as her girls — most of her skaters become champions before the age of 18 — have taken home Olympic golds and silvers, World Championships, European Championships, and international champions.

But amid all that success, none of Tutberidze’s champions have gone to multiple Olympics. They’ve retired, many citing injury, in four-year windows. Even more distressing is how there seems to be a pattern of abusive practices when it comes to diet restriction and over-training. (more)

Source: VOX