The head of the US Anti-Doping Agency responded to unsubstantiated reports of documents showing that Kamila Valieva listed two permitted substances on a doping control form
The head of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said unsubstantiated reports that Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva listed two legal heart drugs in anti-doping form ahead of the Winter Olympics suggest “Something more serious is going on” in the highly publicized Beijing Games case.
The document filed at Valieva’s preliminary arbitration hearing, which she successfully challenged at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) hearing on Sunday, showed that Valieva’s sample presented at the Russian Championships on December 25 included three substances that could be used. to help the heart, according to The New York Times.
According to the report, Valieva said that L-carnitine, an oxygen-boosting performance enhancer, and hypoxen, which increases blood flow to the heart, was recently the subject of a failed USADA ban attempt.
“You use it all to improve your productivity” USADA CEO Travis Tygart told the AP, suggesting that the drug combination with trimetazidine, a substance that tested positive for Valieva and is on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned list, weakened the 15-year-old’s claim that her sample was accidental. contaminated.
Hypoxen is a drug designed to increase the flow of oxygen to the heart. Recently, the US Anti-Doping Agency unsuccessfully tried to put it on the banned list.
— Associated Press (@AP) February 16, 2022
L-carnitine, another oxygen deprivation stimulant, is prohibited when administered above certain thresholds.
— Associated Press (@AP) February 16, 2022
Tygart told the publication that the message about the presence of substances “completely undermines confidence” protection of Valieva and is “a sign that something more serious is going on. »
The AP reported that two people with knowledge of the matter confirmed that the AMA provided a summary of Tygart’s views during the hearing, adding that his sources spoke on condition of anonymity because the documents were not made available to the public.
The AMA did not comment on the reported memo. Valieva was admitted to the Russian Olympic Committee after she challenged the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) in overturning her provisional ban for trimetazidine.
L-carnitine is banned from injections above certain levels, and the report says Tygart commented on the potential impact of legal drugs along with 2.1 nanograms of trimetazidine, a drug associated with L-carnitine treatment.
During the hearing, Valieva’s mother reportedly argued that the figure skater’s grandfather’s regular intake of trimetazidine explained how it got into his body.
Many sports and legal figures have dismissed the idea that trimetazidine has a performance-enhancing effect.
The drug discovery in Valieva’s sample only came to light after the Games favorite in singles helped Russia win team gold with her first women’s performance at the Olympics when she landed a quad.
Later, the award ceremony was canceled and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) began consultations with the International Skating Union on the legal issue of returning Valieva’s test from a WADA-accredited laboratory in Stockholm.
Valieva is considered Wada’s “protected face” due to her age, meaning that her name did not need to be revealed and she faced a lesser penalty if found guilty.
The timing of the result meant that the Russian and European champion did not have enough time to put together the proper legal defense and it is unclear if she requested a B sample, which she is entitled to receive in the lab.
The IOC has also announced that there will be no singles awards ceremony if Valieva takes a podium finish at the end of the competition on Thursday.
IOC spokesman Mark Adams reminded the media of the need “because of the process” Wednesday.
“This case is not over yet” he said, urging jumping to conclusions “really inappropriate”.
“CAS has made that clear. In fact, as far as I can tell, Sample B hasn’t even been opened. »
Tygart warned earlier this week that the United States could sue over the issue under a bill to allow legal action when U.S. athletes suffer incidents during sports competitions.
“If Russia followed the rules, we would know for sure the outcome of the team figure skating tournament,” he said on Monday.
“These athletes, who gave their all, could rise to the podium at these Games, as they rightfully deserve, and the world is celebrating with them. »
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