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Vladimir Putin Defends Teenage Olympic Skater At Centre Of Drugs Scandal

Vladimir Putin Defends Teenage Olympic Skater At Centre Of Drugs Scandal

The Russian president has defended figure skater Kamila Valieva who is at the centre of a doping scandal

Vladimir Putin has defended Olympic figure skater Kamila Valieva, who is at the centre of a doping scandal.

The Russian president has spoken out in defence of the 16-year-old, arguing that her Olympic performance could not have been achieved on drugs.

Valieva was a favourite for the 2022 Beijing Winter Games until a failed drug test back in December caused people to question her eligibility to compete.

News of Putin's remarks comes as his invasion of Ukraine continues.

Vladimir Putin poses for a photo with Kamila Valieva.

As reported by Insider, Putin said in defence of the figure skater: "Such perfection cannot be achieved dishonestly, with the help of some additional means, manipulations... We understand and know this very well.

"The whole country, figure skating fans all over the world, we're especially worried about Kamila."

The remarks come after the young figure skater tested positive for trimetazidine, a 'hormone and metabolic regulator' that could help improve endurance and circulation if taken without proper medical cause.

At first, Valieva was banned from the competition after her team won gold.

Kamila Valieva was a favourite in the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

However, an arbitrator decided that the figure skater could continue to compete, a decision that received backlash from many around the sport.

While the trimetazidine found in Valieva's system is banned from the Olympics, she also tested positive for two non-banned drugs: hypoxen and L-carnatine.

This raised questions among testing officials, as Valieva had previously said she mixed up her medications and failed her drugs test as a result.

The situation is ongoing, with US Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart telling CNN earlier this year: "It raises a whole host of questions that have yet to be determined and what appears to be the case of a pretty deliberate attempt to use substances in order to enhance performance.

Kamila Valieva competes in the Women's Single Skating.

"The picture it paints is, you've got a [then]​ 15-year-old. Does she have the wherewithal and the knowledge and the financial resources to find and use two drugs, one of which is prohibited TMZ (Trimetazidine) and another one Hypoxen, [along with] L-carnitine (a supplement) - to increase endurance and reduce fatigue?"

Until the doping issue is resolved, the International Olympic Committee will not be awarding any medals for the team figure skating event, that the Russian Olympic Committee team won.

In addition, the International Skating Union has banned Russian and Belarusian skaters from competing as a result of the ongoing war in Ukraine, so Valieva will not be competing internationally anytime soon.

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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock/Alamy

Topics: Vladimir Putin, News, Olympics