Laura Barquero: Spanish figure skater fails test as Olympics doping scandal continues
The Winter Olympics have been hit by another doping scandal three days after the event finished. Spanish figure skater Laura Barquero has failed a doping test after testing positive for the banned steroid clostebol.
This doping news was announced by the International Testing Agency on Tuesday, 22 February, three days after the final events wrapped up in Beijing. Twenty-year-old Barquero and her partner Marco Zandron finished 11th in the pairs competition, which finished on Saturday. The ITA said her positive sample was given after the short program on Friday, 18 February, and the case will be heard by the Anti-Doping Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS ADD), then they will decide Barquero's fate.
The ITA said Barquero returned an adverse analytical finding for a metabolite of Clostebol, which is on the prohibited list of the World Anti-Doping Agency. The sample was collected under the testing authority of the International Olympic Committee in an in-competition, anti-doping control during the pairs skating short program.
“The athlete has been informed of the case. She has the right to request the analysis of the B-sample,” the ITA said in a statement. It added that the matter will hereafter be referred to the CAS ADD for adjudication under the IOC Anti-Doping Rules applicable to the Olympic Games Beijing 2022 (IOC ADR). ITA also said that there will be no further comments during the ongoing proceeding, given that the case is underway.
The Spanish Olympic Committee also said in a statement that it had received notification of the anomalous finding of a “Spanish athlete” without naming the skater. “From the Spanish Olympic Committee we are waiting for the result of the counter-test, a result that every athlete has the right to request,” it added.
The 20-year-old figure skater became the fifth athlete to fail a doping test at the Beijing Olympics after testing positive. The high-profile doping story of this Olympic was 15-year-old Russian figure skater, Kamila Valieva, wherein the sample she gave before the Games came back positive for a banned substance. She was allowed to keep skating in Beijing in part because her age gives her extra rights in anti-doping matters. She could yet be stripped of the gold medal she won in the team event before the lab analysis was reported.
The other positive tests in Beijing were the Iranian Alpine skier, Hossein Saveh Shemshaki, and two Ukrainians, cross-country skier, Valentyna Kaminska, and Bobsledder Lidiia Hunko, substances such as mesterolone and heptaminol were found in their body. They are now provisionally suspended from all competitions pending prosecution of their doping case.