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Kamila Valieva had three substances in system, reports say

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Kamila Valieva had three substances in system, reports say
Three heart substances were found in the sample of Russian skater Kamila Valieva, according to reports Wednesday. The teen phenom was cleared by arbitrators to compete in the women's singles event despite failing a drug test. Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva, who has been at the center of a doping scandal throughout the Beijing Olympics, had three substances used to treat heart conditions in her sample, according to a document that was filed in her arbitration hearing.

The document, which was released by the Court of Arbitration for Sport and viewed by The New York Times and CNN, said Valieva tested positive not only for the banned drug trimetazidine but also for Hypoxen and L-carnitine, which are not blacklisted.

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Valieva's defense team claimed that the teen skating star may have accidentally ingested traces of trimetazidine by sharing a drinking glass with her grandfather, who takes the heart medication.

The drug, commonly used to treat angina, has been prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency since 2014 for its potential to enhance blood flow and aid endurance.

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The Russian manufacturer of Hypoxen says the product increases endurance and reduces fatigue during physical activity by promoting more efficient oxygen use.

L-carnitine is an amino acid taken as a dietary supplement that may also increase blood flow and oxygen supply to muscles. It is not prohibited on its own, but infusions of high doses are not allowed.

In 2019, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency suspended track coach Alberto Salazar for four years -- later extended to a lifetime ban -- for improperly using substances including L-carnitine.

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The head of the USADA, Travis Tygart, told CNN that the presence of the three drugs in Valieva's system "appears to be the case of a pretty deliberate attempt to use substances in order to enhance performance."

"It's using the three that showed the intent of trying three different routes that ultimately give the same impact on performance: increased endurance, reduced shortness of breath, tiredness," Tygart said.

However, he added that he didn't believe the 15-year-old athlete would have had the knowledge or resources to coordinate such a scheme on her own.

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The World Anti-Doping Agency has announced that it is investigating the entourage surrounding Valieva. The agency's chief, Witold Banka, tweeted Tuesday that the doping of minors is "evil and unforgivable."

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"The doctors, coaches and support personnel who are found to have provided performance-enhancing drugs to minors should be banned for life," he wrote. "I also think that they should be in prison."

The Russian star was cleared by arbitrators on Monday to compete in the Olympics despite the positive test, which was returned last week from a sample taken in December.

The panel rejected appeals by WADA, the International Olympic Committee and the International Skating Union to reinstate a suspension that was originally levied but then removed by Russian anti-doping authorities.

Valieva finished as the top qualifier in the women's singles short program on Tuesday, and remains the overwhelming favorite to win the event after the free skate on Thursday.

However, the IOC has announced that no medals will be distributed to any athletes if Valieva reaches the podium. The medal ceremony from last week's team figure skating competition, which the Russian squad won behind the teen phenom's dominant performances, are also on hold until the full anti-doping investigation is completed.

Beijing Olympics: Moments from women's single figure skating

Kamila Valieva of Russia performs during the women's single figure skating short program at Capital Indoor Stadium at the Beijing Winter Olympic on February 15. The 15-year-old skater tested positive for a banned substance but was allowed to compete. Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI | License Photo

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