IOC not investigating doping admission by Russian figure skating champ at Sochi 2014: official

August 7, 2023

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will not look into a recent doping admission by a Russian figure skater who controversially beat South Korean star Kim Yu-na for gold at the 2014 Winter Games, a Seoul official said Monday.

The official with the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee (KSOC) said the IOC responded to the South Korean body’s inquiry last Friday regarding an acknowledgement by Adelina Sotnikova, the 2014 Olympic women’s singles figure skating champion, that she had a positive doping test in 2014.

“The IOC said Sotnikova had tested negative with her ‘A’ sample in 2014, and that it didn’t identify any anti-doping rule violation by Sotnikova during an extensive testing of Russian athletes in 2017,” the KSOC official said. “Now that the IOC has said Sotnikova never tested positive with her A sample, it will be difficult for us to lodge a complaint.”

In a since-deleted YouTube clip on a Russian channel last month, Sotnikova said she had a positive doping test in 2014 but was cleared by her “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.

Sotnikova later claimed that she didn’t mean to say she had tested positive in 2014, but only that anti-doping officials had found scratches on the tube containing her sample.

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, citing lack of evidence.