I have zero interest in the olympics, and paid no attention to (actually did not hear about) Kamila Valieva’s positive drug test until discussion came up in a women’s group.
She took trimetazidine. I heard about that drug around the time I was taking valsartan to lower my blood pressure. For those with high blood pressure, it thins the blood and allows it to flow more easily in the body. In athletes, that increased blood flow can increase how much oxygen enters the muscles, increasing athletic performance. It’s a banned substance for that reason.
Valieva claims she “must have gotten it from a glass of water” that her grandfather was drinking from. How much water was she drinking? Five litres? Or drinking a glass every day? You don’t get a detectable amount in your system from a single passive drink.
According to the US’s NIH, the drug has a half life of six hours. For it to be detectable in a drug test would mean she was taking it repeatedly over a long period of time or in a significant amount the day of the test. From the link:
After oral administration, trimetazidine is rapidly absorbed from the intestinal tract, without significant effect of food on its bioavailability. The mean peak plasma concentration (Cmax) of the IR formulation was found to be 53.6 μg/L and was reached within 1.8 hours; the area under the plasma concentration–time curve (AUC0–∞) was 508.9 μg·L−1·h−1 after single and 831.4 μg·L−1·h−1 after multiple doses. Steady-state levels of trimetazidine are reached within 24 hours; it is biotransformed to a low extent into several metabolites only detectable in the urine. Trimetazidine is weakly bound to plasma proteins. Its elimination half-life is about 6 hours after single or repeated oral administration of IR tablets, with the majority of the drug excreted in the urine. In patients with renal impairment and in elderly people, the elimination half-life of trimetazidine increases, whereas the renal clearance decreases when compared with healthy young subjects.
Even if she didn’t know she was taking it, somebody was giving it to her. That still makes her dirty and disqualified.
This, of course comes almost a year after Sha’Carri Richardson’s positive drug test for marijuana. THC, the active substance in marijuana, is a depressant. It decreases athletic performance and reaction times, something detrimental to sprinters which Richardson is. So why was she disqualified?
Think back to the 1998 Nagano olympics. Canadian snowboarder Ross Rebagliati (white) was first disqualified after testing positive for having THC in his system. That disqualification was overturned because it was deemed “accidental inhalation” (are you kidding me?) and “did not improve performance”. If it didn’t improve his, why did it improve Richardson’s?