Skaters must be at least 17 to compete in senior events after Valieva Beijing saga

·1-min read

The minimum age ice skaters must be to compete in senior events has been raised from 15 to 17 for the sake of protecting the "physical and mental health" of competitors.

The International Skating Union (ISU) announced the change on Tuesday, almost four months after the sport was in the spotlight for the wrong reasons during the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Russian Kamila Valieva, aged 15 at the time, was provisionally banned during the Games after it came to light that she had tested positive for banned heart medication trimetazidine last December.

That revelation came just before the Russian Olympic Committee were due to be awarded a gold medal for the team event in which she had competed.

Valieva was cleared to go for individual gold, but slipped from first place to miss out on a medal after making a string of mistakes in her decisive final routine.

Rather than consoling a distraught Valieva, her coach, Eteri Tutberidze, instead asked her "why did you stop fighting?" in reference to an initial error on her opening triple axel.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach says it was "chilling" to see the way Valieva was treated by her coach.

The ISU has now revealed competitors skaters must be 16 to enter senior events from the 2023-24 season and 17 as of the following season.

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