Russia Controversy in the 2022 Ice Skating Competition in Beijing Winter Olympics

The world of ice figure skating is perceived by many as a world of beauty, grace, glitz, and sparkle. But the harsh reality of figure skating is that it is a competitive dog-eat-dog world, and Russian Olympic skater Kamila Valieva faces the harsh reality in the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

All About Kamila Valieva

Kamila Valieva is a Russian Figure skater born on April 26, 2006. At just 15 years old, Kamila has stunned the Olympic coaches and fans globally with what she could achieve. This includes the 2022 European champion, 2021 Rostelecom Cup champion, 2021 Skate Canada International champion, 2022 Russian national champion, and 2021 Russian National silver medalist. She is also a 2022 Olympic champion in the team event. 

In addition, she is the current world record holder for the women’s short program, free skating, and total scores. Overall, she has a whopping set of nine world records, only at 15. She is the first female skater to break the 250 to 270-point thresholds in the total score in one season, the first to break the 170 to 180-point thresholds in the free skate, and the first to break the 90-point threshold in the short program. She is the second woman to land the quadruple toe loop after training partner and teammate Alexandra Trusova, the fourth woman to land a quadruple jump of any kind, the 16th woman to land a triple Axel, and the third woman to land a triple Axel and quadruple jump in the same program.

This is why all eyes were on Kamila as she entered the 2022 Beijing Olympics, with Russia fairly confident that another Gold medal was well on their way. 

Drug Controversy

During the 2022 Beijing Olympics, Russia was in the hot seat after the drug test results of Kamila went out as the winter Olympic figure skating games were ongoing. Kamila tested positive for trimetazidine, which is a drug that is banned in any sports event as this increased endurance and increased heart flow, and two other drugs that are not banned in any sports programs. This caused great controversy and even sparked a debate on when to award the medals if Kamila would win or if she would even be given a medal given that she took performance-enhancing drugs. This was following the Russian controversy of their doping strategy. They would ask their Olympic athletes to take drugs but swap out the specimen with “clean samples” so their athletes would not test positive. This resulted in Russia being banned for the next three succeeding Olympics.  

Free Skate Fail

However, during the free skate part of the competition, Kamila fell flat and failed on her first four jumps, then fell on an attempted quad toe loop moments later. She fell to fourth place from her envisioned gold medal and did not win any medals for Russia. This made the decision of the Olympic organizers easier amidst her drug issue. Overall, 2022 is not the best year for figure skating in Russia.