What is the banned drug trimetazidine taken by Russian skater Kamila Valieva?
Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva, a favorite to win gold in the women’s figure skating competition at the Beijing Olympics 2022, has been at the center of a doping controversy.
Valieva has been allowed to compete at the Olympics despite testing positive for a banned drug, but will have any medals withheld until her case is resolved.
She came close to a perfect short program but stumbled on her triple axel on Tuesday, still scoring 82.16 points, good enough for first place.
She has reportedly argued that there was a mix-up with her grandfather’s medication after she tested positive for banned drug trimetazidine.
But what exactly does trimetazidine (TMZ) do?
Trimetazinine works by increasing blood flow to the heart and restricting rapid swings in blood pressure, Reuters reported.
“If you’re in a highly exertional sport, where you’re using a lot of energy and you’re putting your heart under significant stress, it certainly could help your heart function better theoretically,” MedStar Georgetown University Hospital medical toxicology physician Kelly Johnson-Arbor told the newswire.
According to The New York Times, it was added to the list of substances banned for use during competition in 2014 and prohibited for use out of competition in 2015. It is not sold in the United States.
TMZ is typically taken once or twice a day, and is easy to detect in drug tests as it is a synthetic drug, Reuters added.