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Russian Skater Blames Grandpa's Heart Medication Amid Doping Scandal—And Nobody's Buying It

Russian Skater Blames Grandpa's Heart Medication Amid Doping Scandal—And Nobody's Buying It
Nikolay Muratkin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The ongoing scandal involving Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva shows no sign of slowing down. While Valieva is the overwhelming favorite to take home gold medals, part of that may be due to the accusations of performance enhancing drugs.

Now her explanation for the situation had people really questioning the narrative.

She claims her positive drug test occurred because she accidentally drank from the same glass as her grandfather.

News recently came out that Valieva had failed a drug test on December 25th. However, the result wasn’t known to the public until last week.

Despite testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, Valieva was allowed to skate, leading to two high level performances.

Part of the reason the Court of Arbitration of Sport allowed her to skate was her lawyers’ explanation of the accidental ingestion of the drug.

According to Denis Oswald, a member of the IOC and Swiss lawyer:

“Her argument was this contamination which happened with a product her grandfather was taking.”

More specifically, Valieva is taking care of her grandfather, who is taking the drug trimetazidine for heart issues.

Anna Kozmenko, Valieva’s lawyer, told a Russian Anti-Doping Agency there was a possibility of accidental contamination, such as:

“For example, grandfather drank something from a glass, saliva got in, this glass was somehow later used by the athlete.”

The internet was more than a little skeptical of this possibility.

On top of the strange situation of Valieva sharing a glass with her grandfather, there are other reasons to doubt this explanation.

Valieva’s lawyers didn’t provide evidence that her grandfather is taking this heart medication. And trimetazidine is a coated pill that dissolves in the intestines, so passing it on from saliva would be next to impossible.

Valieva’s situation has been compared to another Olympic athlete and used to point out the racist double standard in the games.

American track and field sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson was denied the chance to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics after she tested positive for THC.

Trimetazidine and THC are both prohibited substances, despite the fact that cannabis isn’t a performance enhancing drug like trimetazidine. However, despite this, Valieva was allowed to compete.

Richardson herself said:

“Can we get a solid answer on the difference of her situation and mines? My mother died and I can’t run and was also favored to place top 3.”
“The only difference I see is I’m a Black young lady.”

The ruling turned the competition into a joke.

The free skate competition to determine the medals will happen later this week. The IOC has said that if Valieva places, there won’t be a medal ceremony until their investigation of the situation is complete.