Korea seeks to confirm Russian figure skater's doping admission

Korea seeks to confirm Russian figure skater's doping admission
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The top Korean sports body said Tuesday it will ask the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to investigate a recent doping admission by a Russian figure skater who beat Korean star Kim Yu-na for the controversial gold at the 2014 Winter Games.

The move by the Korean Sport Olympic Committee (KSOC) comes in light of a recent acknowledgement by Adelina Sotnikova, the 2014 Olympic women's singles figure skating champion, that she had a positive doping test in 2014, though she was cleared by her second, "B," sample.

It is considered rare in sports doping for an athlete to test positive in an A sample but return a different result in a B sample.

"The Korea Anti-Doping Agency is gathering relevant data and information," a KSOC official said. "After we collect the information we need, we will ask the IOC to look into Sotnikova's case. She said herself that she tested positive in her A sample but negative in her B sample. This is an extremely rare instance that needs reinvestigation. Since drug testing technology has improved over the years, we think they should be able to find something that they couldn't in the past."

At the 2014 Olympics, Sotnikova scored 224.59 points overall to beat out Kim, then the defending champion and gold medal favorite, by more than five points. Sotnikova's performance and resulting gold medal sparked a judging controversy.

In the aftermath, Sotnikova also faced allegations that her samples had been tampered with. The IOC later cleared her of wrongdoing in the absence of sufficient evidence.

In this Feb. 20, 2014 file photo, Korean figure skater Kim Yu-na celebrates with her national flag after winning the silver in ladies' singles competition during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Yonhap
In this Feb. 20, 2014 file photo, Korean figure skater Kim Yu-na celebrates with her national flag after winning the silver in ladies' singles competition during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Yonhap

Speaking on a Russian YouTube channel last week, Sotnikova said she had tested positive in the same year of her Olympic triumph but was cleared by her B sample.

The video has since been removed.

"Per rules by the World Anti-Doping Agency, blood and urine samples from athletes must be stored for 10 years," the KSOC official said. "If the IOC accepts our request, then we should be able to clear all suspicions."

In past instances, athletes in other sports have been stripped of Olympic medals when their samples collected during competition turned up positive in a reanalysis.

Photo: Yonhap
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