Ice skating set to gradually raise minimum competition age from 15 to 17 after Kamila Valieva doping scandal

The decision, taken after a vote at the 58th Congress in Phuket, comes after Russian skater Kamila Valieva, then 15, was embroiled in a doping scandal at the Beijing 2022 Olympics in February, which overshadowed the Games.
In a statement released on Twitterthe world governing body said: “The ISU Congress has voted in favor of a gradual increase in the age limit from 15 to 17 years in the interests of the protection of physical and mental health and the emotional well-being of skaters.

“There will be no change for the 2022/23 season, an increase to 16 for the 2023/24 season and an increase to 17 for the 2024/25 season and subsequent seasons.”

Valieva tested positive for the banned heart drug trimetazidine, which can help with endurance.

Even though the test was conducted in December 2021, it wasn’t analyzed and reported to the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) until February, resulting in Valieva’s provisional suspension – a day after she helped propel the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) to a gold medal in the figure skating team event.

But the skater was reinstated after an appeal and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) authorized her to compete in the Olympics, citing specific provisions related to her protected status as a minor.

Valieva then competed in the individual figure skating event, where she fell several times and left the ice in tears, finishing in fourth place.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said it would investigate those around Valieva – the adults responsible for her skating and well-being.

CNN has contacted the AMA for comment.

Global Athlete, a group that works for change in the world of sport, has previously called for “immediate reform” of anti-doping systems and better safeguard protocols.

“Raising the age limit is an important step, but a more important step is ensuring that athlete protection protocols are in place by all national federations,” said Rob Koehler, chief executive of Global Athlete. , in a press release.

“Raising the age limit cannot be responsibly dissolved to ensure the protection of minors. Young athletes will continue to train to achieve their dream of international competition, therefore, a wide range of best practice protocols must be in place to protect every young child who enters the sport. This has to include reporting lines independent of third parties.”

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