Russian Figure Skater tests positive for drugs - delays ceremony for team medals

jenny12

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Valieva's "talent" is an illusion. She achieved what she did because she used drugs that helped her train longer.

Agreed. What she took allowed her to train longer and have more stamina which is a big deal for skating. I think it’s legitimate to question if she’d have the consistency without the drugs and whether she’d be able to train long enough to achieve those jumps. Who knows? Maybe the question would still be yes, but I can’t seriously talk about how talented she is knowing she was doping.
 

Vagabond

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Coco

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So Talent would be the body type, inherent agility, balance, aptitude for cardio intensive activity. She is very talented. She is also very hard working and disciplined. We'll never know what she could have achieved without PE assistance.
 

rfisher

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THow many times have we joked about Russian men running out of gas in their long programs. Are Kolyada, Aliev, Ignatov et al talented? Undoubtedly. Would they do better with more stamina? Of course. It may be that the secret ingredient doesn’t work as well on men as on pre-pubescent girls. But it’s certain that anything that expands stamina will heighten what talent can achieve.
Well, the reason the skaters you named run out of steam is the way they train. They don't do full run throughs. All of Rukavitsin's skaters have the same issue. We've laughed for years about them playing video games while the girls worked harder. It's not a big secret.
 

Trillian

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Agreed. What she took allowed her to train longer and have more stamina which is a big deal for skating. I think it’s legitimate to question if she’d have the consistency without the drugs and whether she’d be able to train long enough to achieve those jumps. Who knows? Maybe the question would still be yes, but I can’t seriously talk about how talented she is knowing she was doping.

This is the thing. Of course she had certain natural attributes and aptitudes that would most likely have given her the building blocks to be an elite competitor no matter what. But maybe she would have struggled more with jump consistency, or maybe she wouldn’t have quite the the arsenal of jumps at all. Maybe she would have been able to compete as a true peer to the best skaters in the world, winning some titles even if she didn’t steamroll the competition. And maybe we would have gotten to watch her skate for many years at a high level, which I frankly think is unlikely now.

The foundation was obviously there, but we’re never going to know exactly what healthy development instead of abuse and doping would have done with it.
 

Maximillian

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Maybe she would have had to choose between skating skills and jumps and who knows what would have been chosen?
Uh-huh, yeah...I think everyone is giving far too much credit to the heart medication, but I get it, feeling superior releases that hormone in the brain that makes you feel good and she's Russian, so it's a safe and easy thing to do, especially on this board.
 

barbk

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Uh-huh, yeah...I think everyone is giving far too much credit to the heart medication, but I get it, feeling superior releases that hormone in the brain that makes you feel good and she's Russian, so it's a safe and easy thing to do, especially on this board.
Plenty of American athletes have doped. The ones we hear about tend to be the athletes who did have tremendous talent. Lance Armstrong was a remarkable and remarkably successful cyclist before he started doping, but I don't think that there is much disagreement that he had success almost beyond measure with doping.

Many of the figure skating doping cases back in the day seemed to be genuinely accidental cases of cold medications. Was it Berezhnaya who took a brand of cold medicine that is ok for athletes in some formulations but that turned out to have pseudoephedrine in the version she took? I understood the penalty, but I never considered that as intentional doping.

Valieva's situation appears intentional. I don't have a lot of sympathy for that, just as I didn't for Armstrong.
 

rfisher

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Uh-huh, yeah...I think everyone is giving far too much credit to the heart medication, but I get it, feeling superior releases that hormone in the brain that makes you feel good and she's Russian, so it's a safe and easy thing to do, especially on this board.
A medication that she'd have had to take on a very regular basis at a high dose for years for it to have had any real effect on her training. A lot of people seem to overlook that little fact. And, there's no way she'd not have tested positive years prior if that had been the case. Moreover, to have taken that type of dose would have had significant side effects on a teen, none of which exist. This is what really gets me about the vitriol being lobbed at her or all the other Russian skaters some are assuming are doping just because. Nathan jumped multiple quads and did it with minimal training while across the country from his coach. He must be doping. Malinin landed what said couldn't be done! Doping! And, I don't think they are.
 
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Dai's Blues for Klook

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A medication that she'd have had to take on a very regular basis at a high dose for years for it to have had any real effect on her training. A lot of people seem to overlook that little fact. And, there's no way she'd not have tested positive years prior if that had been the case. Moreover, to have taken that type of dose would have had significant side effects on a teen, none of which exist. This is what really gets me about the vitriol being lobbed at her or all the other Russian skaters some are assuming are doping just because. Nathan jumped multiple quads and did it with minimal training while across the country from his coach. He must be doping. Malinin landed what said couldn't be done! Doping! And, I don't think they are.
If Kamila's talent is all natural, then maybe she shouldn't have been doped? Why was she?

Some people just make me happy Russian "skating" isn't around this season. Yeah, different reason, whatever. Still happy. Can't deal with the delusion.
 

PRlady

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My point is you can land quads without doping.
If you’re a guy. It’s yet to be demonstrated that young girls can land quads without doping assistance given that almost all have come from Eteri’s crew.

(I do think it’s likely that a very few females can land quads without stamina help. Now we have Kalin and apparently a couple Japanese etc. But I’ll not trust that the Russian girls are clean given the attitude and behavior of their government in other sports plus Valieva.)
 

VGThuy

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This is just an impression...this is not meant to be used as evidence for or against any type of argument about what has or has not happened regarding steroids, PEDs, or unsavory practices...just my thoughts based on observations on this sport.

The Quad "evolution" in ladies just seems off compared to how the the sport evolved into doubles and then triples and then quads every other time. I think it was kind of unprecedented in the sport of figure skating that not only was the technical arsenal progressing, but it was progressing in a way that it was only happening from not only one country but one training camp and it seemingly came out of nowhere whereas technical progress beforehand seemed to look like a natural evolution that was occurring in multiple countries after being built up gradually by previous generations. And it's not only the ability to do multiple and many quads in one program but the sheer consistency of being able to do it and WITH non-stop stamina-killing choreography/transitions with uber flexibility.

Like it seemed as if quads slowly happened in the late 1980s by some daring men who may or may not have landed. Triple Axels still weren't that common from men in that era either. Then triple axels started to become "normalized" and top contenders were doing it. Three Olympics fly by, and then by 2002, men were doing multiple quads in their program, but that meant 2 or 3 while other men were trying to do 1. Timothy Goebel was labeled the Quad King by being the first to do three quads in one long program (toes and Sal) but other men from various different countries were not far behind him. That said, quads were still a high risk-high reward element and it took time for more and more men to have at least one consistent quad.

After 2002, (with one slight off-cycle when quads were seriously devalued and URs were harsh from the 2008-10 COP), it took coaching all-around some time to catch up...leading to the Quad evolution in 2016 prompted by the younger senior men, but it was multiple men from different countries and they were coming from decades of men trying quads and slowly increasing the number and types of quads attempted in a program. Even then, people complained that a younger Nathan and skaters like Vincent were having emptier programs in order to make room for these quads, which makes the evolution look more organic and natural because it often happens that when technical boundaries are being pushed, the initial generation doing the pushing have to sacrifice something....usually it's the ability to do complex and busy choreography (and not mastering other non-jump elements). Then the coaching catches up an Olympic or two or three cycles later with younger skaters who have been conditioned earlier on, and who have evolved from what had taken place in previous generations, to be able to do good spins, fuller choreography, and have the higher arsenal of jumps in your pocket.

Same thing with pairs skating. Throw triples and solo triples evolved in a very organic way, or seemingly organic way. The reason why more 3A and throw quads aren't happening is because of the COP but there have been slow movement towards pairs training such moves (and Gordeeva/Grinkov were training quad split twists, right?).
 

Vagabond

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Uh-huh, yeah... I get it, feeling superior releases that hormone in the brain that makes you feel good and she's Russian, so it's a safe and easy thing to do, especially on this board.
You did reveal on this board several years ago that you were a Jesuit priest. How well does this schtick go over in that profession?
 

BittyBug

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If you’re a guy. It’s yet to be demonstrated that young girls can land quads without doping assistance given that almost all have come from Eteri’s crew.
Sasha Cohen had a quad salchow early on, although I don't believe she ever successfully landed it in competition. Miki Ando also had a quad sow, and did land it in competition, although under the current rules I suspect it would have been downgraded. (To be fair, some of the quads from Eteri's skaters should also be downgraded for pre-rotation, but that's a different discussion for a different thread.)

Point being, quads can be done, and presumably without doping. Whether Valieva could have achieved them without doping, we'll never know, because she was caught doping, and because of this her record will be forever tainted.
 

Theatregirl1122

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Uh-huh, yeah...I think everyone is giving far too much credit to the heart medication, but I get it, feeling superior releases that hormone in the brain that makes you feel good and she's Russian, so it's a safe and easy thing to do, especially on this board.

When have dopers ever been taking one heart medication. Dopers are generally using a variety of doping substances/methods, not just one. And getting caught once doesn't mean you're using just that or using it once. After all, Lance Armstrong was never caught at all.

I understand that it's hard to accept that someone you're a fan of wasn't what you thought they were.
 

Karen-W

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Sasha Cohen had a quad salchow early on, although I don't believe she ever successfully landed it in competition. Miki Ando also had a quad sow, and did land it in competition, although under the current rules I suspect it would have been downgraded. (To be fair, some of the quads from Eteri's skaters should also be downgraded for pre-rotation, but that's a different discussion for a different thread.)

Point being, quads can be done, and presumably without doping. Whether Valieva could have achieved them without doping, we'll never know, because she was caught doping, and because of this her record will be forever tainted.
Two women in the last twenty years, plus Surya Bonaly attempting a quad, so three adult women in the last thirty. That's not exactly convincing evidence that adult women are physiologically capable of landing quads regularly and routinely like men can.

And, that's the point that I felt @VGThuy was trying to make. All of what we have seen out of Russia (mostly Team Tutberidze) in the last 5 years is so beyond the norm of how the sport has progressed technically in the past, both with men and women. I fail to understand why some people around here are so willing to close their eyes to what is plainly staring us in the face. This quad evolution by the Russian women does NOT make sense. At all. Would someone doing some statistical analysis to prove just how off this is help people see this anomaly for what it is? When you have 38 women attempting exactly ONE quad at the US and Japanese National Championships combined this past year, versus 10 out of 18 Russian women attempting 19 quads, there is something going on that is more than just "our skaters are better, our skaters work harder."
 
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BittyBug

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Two women in the last twenty years, plus Surya Bonaly attempting a quad, so three adult women in the last thirty. That's not exactly convincing evidence that adult women are physiologically capable of landing quads regularly and routinely like men can.
PRLady didn’t qualify her statement with “regularly and routinely,” she asserted that “it has yet to be proven that young girls can land quads without doping assistance,” and I gave two examples where quads have been landed that disprove her statement. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, nor is it a comment on whether Tutberidze’s group doped.

At a minimum, we know they employ extremely harsh training methods. We also know one of their skaters was caught doping, and fair or not that does cast doubts on everyone else in her group, especially combined with Russia’s past history of doping. But the fact remains that Sasha Cohen and Miki Ando both landed quad salchows.

And ETA, I agree with you that the rapid and exclusive technical advancement of her group stands out and rightfully invites questions. It could be the result of the endless pool of young skaters flocking to her school, extreme competition and full funding, but as I said, the fact that Valieva was caught doping combined with the fact that their team doctor has previously been suspended for doping does cast doubt on the whole machine.
 
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PRlady

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PRLady didn’t qualify her statement with “regularly and routinely,” she asserted that “it has yet to be proven that young girls can land quads without doping assistance,” and I gave two examples where quads have been landed that disprove her statement. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, nor is it a comment on whether Tutberidze’s group doped.

At a minimum, we know they employ extremely harsh training methods. We also know one of their skaters was caught doping, and fair or not that does cast doubts on everyone else in her group, especially combined with Russia’s past history of doping. But the fact remains that Sasha Cohen and Miki Ando both landed quad salchows.
The addition of “routinely” was correct. Trusova alone has landed more quads than all non-Eteri women combined, I’d guess. I loved her and devoutly hope she wasn’t doping, she’s unusually athletic and never developed other parts of her skating. But the suspicion remains.
 

Hedwig

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Putin's propagandists would be proud of the mental contortions and whataboutery of some in this thread.
and not only by teenagers who might still be in a sort of growing process to learn what is morally right and wrong and whose fandom might be a bit strange at time (nods to my teenage-self) but by grown men and women.

The amount of excuses being found for this child abuse (and it is child abuse among other things) is staggering and quite frightening. All to keep on dreaming in your own little world where these persons can admire Russian skaters and build up their own fantasy world around them.
Reading this thread makes me at least understand better how Russian propaganda can poison the minds of people in Russia. If you want to believe something, apparently you can believe anything.
 

TAHbKA

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Two women in the last twenty years, plus Surya Bonaly attempting a quad, so three adult women in the last thirty. That's not exactly convincing evidence that adult women are physiologically capable of landing quads regularly and routinely like men can.
I don't know whether you had an access to the ice skating gear for the last 20 years, but boy, had the skates changed. Had the blades changed. The skates say, Miete, Medvedeva and some others use weight close to nothing. The good ol' shit I was using 30 years ago felt like 2kg each.
The technique of hte skaters who land the multiple quads (Chen, Jin, Hanuy, Uno, Kagiyama, Grassl, Zhou, Trusova, Valieva, Scherbakova....) is different than what we used to see in the past (Stojko, Yagudin, PLuschenko, Goebel, Joubert....) - in the last it was about jumping high and rotating the usual speed. Now it's all about rotating fast, not necessarily jumping high.
So the equipment had changed, the technique had changed.
I think the reason most of the ladies are not attempting the quads is well, mental/not wanting to be injured/no real point to attempt rules-wise (being forbidden in the SP).
And last, but not least, assume no one questions Duhamel being clean, yet she beautifully landed the quad throws.
The ladies can do them. Whether it's worth it - another question. Whether their coaches can teach them the right technique - another question .
 

Dai's Blues for Klook

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And last, but not least, assume no one questions Duhamel being clean, yet she beautifully landed the quad throws.
The ladies can do them. Whether it's worth it - another question. Whether their coaches can teach them the right technique - another question .
I agree with you that the technique has changed - I don't agree that Duhamel's throws are the same as singles skaters' quad jumps. Pairs also has quad twists, for that matter, so we'd have to look into how all the technique developed (and there have been many failures on quad throws and 3A throws, which does hint more to there being a learning curve).

I will rather say that Trusova's technique seems sturdy. Of course, we don't know if she's doped, but nothing's surfaced about her, so for now I'll use her as an example for women being able to do quads. Still one woman.
 

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