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Beijing, China— Figure skating became one of the most controversial events of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games after it was revealed that one figure skater tested positive for a banned substance.
ROC (Russian Olympic Committee) figure skater Kamila Valieva, 15, tested positive for the banned heart medication trimetazidine along with two other heart medications which, while not banned, are believed to help aid in an athlete’s performance.
Despite this fact, she was granted permission by the Court of Arbitration for sport (CAS) to skate in the Women’s Singles Skating competition, believing that it would cause her “irreparable harm” if she wasn’t allowed to compete.
“What a shame,” American figure skater Adam Rippon wrote in a tweet after the decision came out. “So many Olympic experiences were stolen from clean athletes who got here without the help of performance-enhancing drugs.”
After taking the ice and coming up short of the podium with multiple mistakes, Valieva left the ice in a flood of tears into the arms of her harshly critical coach.
Post competition, the drama started unfolding as ROC figure skater and champion of the Woman’s Singles Figure Skating competition, Anna Shcherbakova, 17, found herself alone, appearing isolated as Valieva was comforted and her teammate, Alexandra Trusova, 17, created a scene, upset with her second place finish.
Many people were upset with how the Woman’s Singles competition ended. “You win the Olympics and you can’t even celebrate,” Johnny Weir said after the event wrapped up.
The ending led for calls to add an age limit to enter the Olympics so younger figure skaters can be protected from scenes like this. Hopefully, scenes like this will be avoided in the future so everyone can focus on the enjoyment that the Olympics should provide everyone.