The International Olympic Committee (IOC) says it would welcome an anti-doping investigation into the entourage of the 15-year-old Russian figure skater following her positive drugs test.
Kamila Valieva tested positive for the banned heart medication trimetazidine on Tuesday, one day after starring in Russia’s victory in the figure skating team event at the Beijing Winter Olympics, for which the medals have yet to be awarded.
The case of a minor testing positive for Trimetazidine has led to questions over the role potentially played by the adults around her.
On Saturday, IOC spokesperson Mark Adams told journalists that "entourage has been overlooked in the past."
"The IOC, as ever, would welcome investigation into the entourage in all cases where it's relevant. In this case, as in all cases, we would welcome a strong line [from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)] on that. "Entourage ranges from doctors and coaches, parents everyone."
Valieva had been provisionally suspended on February 8 but challenged the decision and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) lifted it the following day.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport is now hearing separate appeals from the International Testing Agency (ITA) and the WADA against the decision by the RUSADA to lift the provisional suspension and enable her to continue to compete.
In a move that appears to be aimed at easing the intense media pressure surrounding the teenager, both RUSADA and the IOC have said they are broadening the focus of their investigations to include members of Valieva’s team.
RUSADA said in a statement: “Since the athlete as is a minor, RUSADA launched a probe in regard to the staff of the figure skater. “The prime aim of this investigation is to reveal all details of possible violations of anti-doping rules in the interests of ‘a person in defense.’”
The medals for the team event, during which Valieva became the first female figure skater to land quads (a jump which includes four full spins) in an Olympic Games and neared her own world record score, remain unrewarded. The ITA said the decision on the result can only be made following analysis of the athlete’s B sample and what it said would be “a final decision on the full merits of the case”. Trimetazidine, which is used to treat angina, increases blood flow to the heart and was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of prohibited substances in 2014.
Valieva will find out her Olympic fate on Monday, one day before the scheduled women’s figure skating competition in Beijing.