WADA Banned Drug Trimetazidine ‘Makes Your Heart Work More Efficiently’



Russian newspaper RBC Sport reported on Wednesday that a member of the ROC figure skating team had tested positive for trimetazidine, according to a source familiar with the situation and a source from the Russian Figure Skating Federation.

Multiple sources have told CNN sports analyst Christine Brennan that the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) figure skating team event athlete who tested positive for a banned substance is underage.

The only minor on the ROC figure skating team is 15-year-old star Kamila Valieva, who made history in the team event this week as the first woman to land a quad jump at the Olympics of winter.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has not named any athletes in connection with the case.

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova posted a video on Twitter expressing her support for Valieva.

What is trimetazidine?

According to the European Medicines Agency (EMA), trimetazidine “is a medicine used to prevent angina attacks, which are sudden pains in the chest, jaw and back caused by physical exertion, due to ‘reduced blood flow to the heart’.

It is listed in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited Substances 2021 under the category of “Hormonal and Metabolic Modulators”, a class of drugs that have been banned by WADA due to evidence that athletes use them to improve their performance.

“It’s an interesting choice to use this way because I think a lot of times people might think: To improve your performance, you would use a stimulant or something that would increase your heart rate or boost your metabolism,” Dr. Elizabeth Murray, a pediatric emergency physician at the University of Rochester Medical Center, told CNN’s Early Start program Thursday.

“But what this drug actually does is make your heart work more efficiently. It doesn’t change your blood pressure or your heart rate that much.

“An athlete wouldn’t necessarily get nervous or feel all that different, but they would theoretically be able to perform at a higher level for longer. It would potentially increase their endurance.”

The most famous doping case involving trimetazidine is that of Chinese swimmer Sun Yang, who was suspended for three months in 2014 after testing positive for the drug.
Banned metabolic modulators have been used by cyclists, weightlifters, boxers, wrestlers, skiers and other athletes from dozens of countries, including Russia, Poland, Colombia, Belgium and Germany.

According to Dr Murray, trimetazidine would not normally be given to children “unless there is a very good reason”.

What happens next?

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said on Thursday he would not comment on “speculation” about the case and could not confirm whether the medal ceremony would go ahead.

“At this time, this is just speculation… We have to patiently wait for this matter to find its way to some sort of conclusion,” Adams said.

As provided for by the IOC Anti-Doping Rules for Beijing 2022, this case – like all doping cases that occur during the Games – will be handled and announced by the International Testing Agency (ITA).

Currently, the ITA is considering whether to issue a “Provisional Suspension”, which temporarily bans an athlete from competing until the result is determined.

As part of this process, the athlete in question will at some point receive a Provisional Hearing, during which the ITA will announce whether the Provisional Suspension will be imposed.

The athlete and his team, in this case the ROC, can then challenge the decision before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

CAS has a temporary office set up in Beijing to handle urgent cases like this, with a special panel of judges called the “CAS Anti-Doping Division” that adjudicates doping cases.

What did Russia say?

In a conference call with reporters on Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov advised reporters to get information directly from the IOC.

He added: “It was not at the Olympics that the scandal broke yesterday, but around the Olympics. It broke out among those who did not have verified information.

“As usual, not knowing the details, everyone started shouting everywhere. We will not join this orderly row of shouters. The only primary source of information should be the IOC.”

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CNN has contacted the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, Russian Figure Skating Federation and CAS for comment.

In a statement sent to CNN, the ITA said it was “aware of the various reports following the postponement of the medal ceremony for the figure skating team event at the Beijing Winter Olympics. 2022.

“Any announcements related to these events would still be posted publicly on the ITA website and not otherwise commented on. No such announcements have been posted to date.”

Russian athletes cannot compete in the Olympics under their country’s name due to IOC and WADA sanctions following the country’s “systemic manipulation” of anti-doping rules during the 2014 Sochi Games.

In February 2021, the IOC announced that Russian athletes would compete as neutrals under the acronym ROC at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022.

CNN’s Rebecca Wright, Helen Regan, Nathan Hodge, Aleks Klosok, Anna Chernova, Christine Romans and Laura Jarrett contributed reporting.

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