When information broke that Kamila Valieva, the 15-year-old determine skater who helped propel Russia to gold within the group competitors and is a favourite within the girls’s particular person competitors, had tested positive for a banned substance earlier than the Olympics, the episode raised questions which have come up many instances earlier than in doping scandals.
Did the banned drug trimetazidine, often called TMZ, make a distinction? Might it have helped Valieva?
The center knowledgeable Dr. Benjamin J. Levine, a professor of train science on the College of Texas Southwestern Medical Faculty, mentioned no.
“The possibility that trimetazidine would enhance her efficiency, for my part, is zero,” Dr. Levine mentioned.
“The one probability could be for it to harm her,” he added.
Antidoping consultants disagree on whether or not trimetazidine might improve Valieva’s efficiency, which is why its use is prohibited. It may be troublesome to carry out managed research on banned substances. However antidoping consultants mentioned analyses of the usage of the drug, predominantly by Jap European athletes, point out that it will probably improve stamina and endurance, present advantages to coaching and maybe assist restoration from strenuous exercises. Thus, they are saying, it might present an unfair benefit in rising oxygen-carrying capability.
Trimetazidine is listed by the World Anti-Doping Company within the class of hormone and metabolic modulators, a category of medication that athletes have been recognized to make use of for performance enhancement. It was added to the checklist of gear prohibited to be used throughout competitors in 2014 and banned to be used out of competitors in 2015. It isn’t authorised on the market in the US.
The supposed medical use of trimetazidine is to extend blood move to the guts in sufferers who’ve chest ache as a result of their cardiac arteries are blocked. However blood move to the guts will not be an issue in occasions like determine skating, Dr. Levine mentioned, neither is the kind of gasoline the guts makes use of.
“The center has loads of blood,” Dr. Levine mentioned. “And the guts is so good at utilizing totally different fuels.”
However figure-skating routines can last as long as 4 minutes — far longer than the common 45-second hockey shift — and are extraordinarily taxing. A drug like trimetazidine, antidoping consultants say, might illicitly improve stamina. That may very well be significantly beneficial within the second half of routines, when skaters get bonus factors for jumps.
This isn’t the primary time trimetazidine has been utilized by Olympians. In 2014, the star Chinese language swimmer Solar Yang examined constructive for it and was suspended for 3 months. The Russian bobsledder Nadezhda Sergeeva was disqualified and banned for eight months after testing constructive for trimetazidine on the 2018 Video games.
Trimetazidine is a metabolic cousin of meldonium, whose use resulted in a wave of constructive drug screens in 2016 in sports activities like tennis, speedskating, wresting and observe and area. Amongst these suspended was the Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova, who obtained a 15-month ban. On the 2018 Olympics, the Russian roller Aleksandr Krushelnitckii was stripped of his bronze medal within the mixed-doubles occasion after testing constructive for meldonium.
As a result of Valieva is youthful than 16, she is taken into account a “protected particular person” by the World Anti-Doping Company. If she will be able to present that her use of trimetazidine was unintentional, she might obtain a warning as an alternative of a most two-year suspension and never face the potential lack of two gold medals. It’s even attainable that her reprimand wouldn’t be introduced publicly. However as a result of the authorities didn’t resolve her case earlier than the Olympics started, her popularity has been left to twist within the wind.
https://www.nytimes.com/dwell/2022/02/11/sports activities/olympics-medals-winter Olympics 2022 Dwell: Newest Information and Updates From Beijing Video games