Russia's figure skating teenage sensation Kamila Valieva took to the ice on Friday again at the 2022 Winter Olympics as reports of her testing positive for a banned substance cast a shadow over her winning performance in the teams event, with the medal ceremony being delayed.
The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) skaters won the team event on Monday, but the medal ceremony was delayed for legal reasons, with Russian media reporting Valieva had failed a drug test.
Valieva, who had already practiced at the rink adjacent to the Capital Indoor Stadium on Thursday, is still scheduled to take part in the women's singles event on Tuesday.
ROC's women's figure skaters have another training slot available at 1:05 p.m. local time on Friday, which they are free to skip.
Her hair in a bun, Valieva wore a forest green long-sleeved shirt, black tights under padded shorts as she skated some of her program in one sequence with music.
With Maurice Ravel's "Bolero" resounding through the Capital Indoor Stadium, the 15-year-old seemed to think she was supposed to run through her short program, prompting one of her coaches, Daniil Gleikhengauz, to tell her to move to the center of the ice to rehearse her free skate.
Valieva did not skate a full run through of her free program, but began to execute quadruple jumps with only a few minutes left for practice.
She then walked straight towards the dressing room in skate guards, not reacting to a reporter shouting "Kamila! Kamila!"
Valieva was part of the team who won the figure skating team event, ahead of the United States and Japan. But their medal ceremony was delayed for unexplained "legal consultations," the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said without providing further details.
Russian athletes are already competing without their flag and anthem because of sanctions for past doping violations.
Russian media reported Valieva had returned a positive test, with newspapers RBC and Kommersant naming the drug as Trimetazidine, which is typically used to treat angina.
The ROC and Russian figure skating federation have not commented.
On Friday a spokesperson for the U.S. Olympic & Paralymic Committee (USOPC) said: "The reality is that we don't know much beyond the speculation at this point -- and we aren't in a place to provide further comment until we know more."
The World Anti-Doping Agency told Reuters it would be informed of a positive test if there was a case.
"We receive the decisions/outcomes of all first-instance anti-doping cases, which are then reviewed to ensure they have been handled in line with the World Anti-Doping Code,” it said in a statement.
Valieva's case is complicated by her age as according to WADA's world anti-doping code, athletes who commit doping violations should be publicly named, but this is not required if the person is a minor under 18.
Adding to the potential legal implications of the situation, Travis Tygart, the chief of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said that the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act, which allows American authorities to prosecute foreign athletes or officials beyond the borders of the United States should be used for the Winter Games if U.S. competitors are affected.
"I think all those who value clean sport would absolutely be advocating for that (application of the Rodchenkov act)," Tygart told Reuters Television on Friday.
"Many of us were disappointed in the initial state sponsored doping (in Russia) that was exposed back in 2015, that those who orchestrated and conspired to abuse young athletes ... were not held accountable by their sport or their own governments."