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Minimum age for Olympic figure skating raised amid doping scandal

Kamila Valieva
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No 15-year-old figure skaters will be allowed to compete at the 2026 Olympics following the controversy surrounding Russian national champion Kamila Valieva at this year’s Beijing Games.

A new age limit for figure skaters at senior international events has been passed by the International Skating Union that will raise the minimum age to 17 before the next Winter Olympics in Milan-Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. The limit will be phased in with 16-year-olds allowed to compete in the 2023-24 season. It will then rise to 17 for the season before the Olympics.

"The ISU Congress voted in favor of gradually increasing the age limit from 15 to 17 years for the sake of protecting the physical and mental health, and emotional well-being of Skaters," the ISU wrote in a statement on Twitter.

Global Athlete called for "immediate reform" to anti-doping systems.

"Doping and the trauma of a positive test pose grave physical and psychological risks to all athletes but especially to minors. It is unacceptable that these risks have been placed on a 15-year-old," the athlete-led group said in a statement earlier this year.