2022 Winter Olympics End With Norway Winning Gold and Russia’s Doping Scandal

Vladimir Putin meets with Russian sportsmen – participants of the XXIII Olympic winter games /  CC BY 4.0 / www.kremlin.ru.

Earlier this week the Winter Olympics came to a close, but not without swirling controversy and debate over the hottest topic of the games – spoilers, it wasn’t the medalists. 

Investigations relating to Russia’s state-sponsored use of performance-enhancing drugs have spanned five Olympic Games and were the talk of the Beijing Games, specifically the women’s individual figure skating competition.

Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) figure skater Kamila Valieva, 15, tested positive for a banned heart medication called Trimetazidine, a drug that’s been banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency since 2014.

Trimetazidine (TMZ) is a heart medication designed mostly for older people who suffer from angina, a condition that causes severe chest pain because of inadequate blood flow to the heart. 

The drug isn’t approved in America; In the past, some elite athletes have used it to gain a competitive edge. TMZ is supposed to make the heart more efficient by relying less on fatty acids and more on glucose, which requires less oxygen. 

Valieva performed her short program at the Russian National Championships on December 24th, and the next day, RUSADA collected a sample from Valieva to test her for doping. Valieva still continued to compete and became the national champion.

The results weren’t made public after her short program and were delayed until now when they were released during the height of her career.  

Valieva was favored to win the Olympic women’s figure skating gold medal and was still cleared to skate while her case was investigated, causing an uproar among fellow competitors and the media.

American commentators fell quiet during Valieva’s short program, and Adam Rippon, a coach of one of the Americans, expressed his frustrations about Valieva’s continued competition after she tested positive for a banned drug.

The Russians have been notorious for being fierce competition across all sports, but when it comes to the doping scandal, most of the athletes choose to keep their suspicions under wraps for the sake of competition. 

Madelein Dupont, a curler from Denmark, said “Russia is super good,” after her team defeated Russia in a round-robin match. “That’s not a secret. They’re one of the best teams in the world, obviously, having been for a long time. And to beat this team, it’s a big accomplishment.”

But of course, not everybody is so positive about Russia’s participation in these Olympics. 

Coupled with a threatened invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the Olympic games had all eyes on the Russians…

While this situation was the headline of every newspaper and article across the world, in the country of China, the situation was massively downplayed and ignored, to maintain the peace and appearance of China among the residents. 

It’s also worth noting that Russia and China’s relationship has grown stronger – with Putin appearing live during the opening ceremony, it’s clear that China will do whatever it can to maintain that bond of power. 

Now that the Olympics are over, the world is watching Russia and China with scrutiny, to see what their next steps will be following the looming troops at the Ukrainian border. 

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