What is trimetazidine? Would it have helped Kamila Valieva of Russia?

When news broke that Kamila Valieva, the 15-year-old figure skater who helped propel Russia to gold in the team competition and is a favorite in the women’s individual competition

had tested positive for a banned substance before the Olympics, the episode raised questions that have come up many times before in doping scandal

Did the banned drug trimetazidine, known as TMZ, make a difference? Could it have helped Valieva?

The heart expert Dr. Benjamin J. Levine, a professor of exercise science at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, said no.

“The chance that trimetazidine would improve her performance, in my opinion, is zero,” Dr. Levine said

Antidoping experts disagree on whether trimetazidine could enhance Valieva’s performance, which is why its use is prohibited

It can be difficult to perform controlled studies on banned substances. But antidoping experts said analyses of the use of the drug, predominantly by Eastern European athlete

indicate that it can increase stamina and endurance, provide benefits to training and perhaps aid recovery from strenuous workout

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