Skating minimum age to be raised to 17 following Olympic controversy

The International Skating Union will raise the minimum age for competitors in senior events from 15 to 17 to protect skaters’ “physical and mental health, and emotional well-being,” the BBC reports.

The decision comes after the controversy surrounding Kamila Valieva at the Beijing Olympic Games.

Russian Valieva, then 15, was provisionally banned in Beijing for a failed drugs test.

The minimum age will be 16 for the 2023-24 season and 17 from 2024-25.

ISU president Jan Dijkema called it a “historic decision” after 100 countries backed the change, with 16 opposed.

“The life of an athlete is short and intense, their experience in this short phase sets the platform for the rest of their lives – physically, spiritually emotionally,” said Canadian skater and ISU Athletes Commission member Eric Radford.

“While I hear the concerns of certain nations about the immediate difficulty that they might face with this proposal being passed … is a medal really worth the life of a young athlete?”

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