Skating legend Katarina Witt says adults responsible for Kamila Valieva's failed drug test should be barred 'forever'

·3 min read
  • A German skater said those responsible for Kamila Valieva's failed drug test should be barred.

  • Katarina Witt said on Facebook Valieva likely followed the advice of her coach and medical team.

  • "The responsible adults should be banned from sport forever," Witt said.

Video: Uncovering the hidden costs of the 2022 Beijing Olympics

German skating legend Katarina Witt said adults responsible for Russian Olympic Committee figure skater Kamila Valieva's failed drug test should be barred from the sport "forever."

"As an athlete, you follow the advice of your loved ones and, in this case, always first of all the coaching and medical team," Witt, a two-time Olympic champion, wrote on Facebook Thursday. "You just trust that they know what is right and what is wrong."

Kamila Valieva
Valieva of Team ROC reacts during the Women Single Skating Free Skating Team Event at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The International Testing Agency said on Thursday that Valieva — who made history earlier this week as the first woman skater to land quadruple jumps at the Olympics — tested positive in December for a banned substance. But Witt doesn't believe the 15-year-old skater is at fault.

"She is not to blame here," Witt wrote. "If anything, the responsible adults should be banned from sport forever."

Witt added that, as an athlete, "you always follow the advice of your confidants."

Kamila Valieva of Team Russian Olympic Committee compete in the Women Single Skating Short Program during the Figure Skating Team Event at Capital Indoor Stadium on February 06, 2022 in Beijing, China. (Photo by
Valieva.Getty/Annice Lyn

In Valieva's case, Witt said, "she probably followed her coach and medical team."

"I admire Kamila as a radiant star, who burst into the orbit of the international skating world," Witt said. "And I still very much wish she has come to stay."

Valieva's performance in the Olympic figure-skating team event helped power the Russian Olympic Committee to a gold medal — an achievement that the organization has vowed to defend. But since the discovery of the positive test for Trimetazidine — a heart medication typically used to treat the symptoms of vertigo — the medal ceremony has been delayed indefinitely.

Kamila Valieva during the team event of the Winter Olympics
Valieva (left) and her ROC teammates celebrate after winning the Team Event of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

The World Anti-Doping Agency categorizes the drug as a "hormone and metabolic modulator," per the Associated Press. When taken without proper cause, the drug can help bolster endurance and improve circulation. Both effects could give a high-level figure skater a significant competitive advantage.

Valieva was initially slapped with a provisional suspension from Russia's anti-doping agency (RUSADA) after the positive test surfaced. However, following a swift appeal, the ban was overturned on February 9. As of now, the Kazan, Russia, native is still free to compete in Beijing.

That could soon change, though. The International Olympic Committee has exercised its right to challenge that decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the ITA said.

Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva during training on Friday in the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games.
Valieva during training on Friday in the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games.Valery Sharifulin / Getty Images

Meanwhile, the ROC said Valieva "has the right to train and take part in competitions in full without restriction" unless the CAS says otherwise.

Valieva is set compete in the individual competition on February 15.

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