New information obtained by news agency TASS reveals that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) resumed testing athletes for performance enhancing drugs in mid-June, after over a two month break due to the coronavirus pandemic, and tested multiple figure skating champions.
From August to September, the organization tested ten skaters – including World champions Evgenia Medvedeva, Alina Zagitova, and Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, as well as medalists at multiple international events Dmitri Aliev, Ivan Bukin, Artur Danielyan, Mikhail Kolyada, Alexander Samarin, Daniil Samsonov, and Anna Shcherbakova.
For Tuktamysheva, Aliev, Bukin, Samarin, and Shcherbakova this was their second test this year. In 2019, the two most tested skaters were Bukin and Alena Kostornaia – tested four times each.
Doping in figure skating is not a significant issue, as the benefits of most steroids that are used by athletes in other sports would often be ineffective in skating. In the past, most cases of doping in the sport have been due to drugs that potentially aid recovery – like meldonium (which was banned starting in 2016) – and diuretics that can increase weight loss.