Figure skating minimum age raised ahead of 2026 Olympics
Figure skating's governing body voted on Tuesday to raise the minimum age for top competitions from 15 to 17 years old.
Why it matters: The doping scandal surrounding Kamila Valieva at the 2022 Beijing Games put a spotlight on the treatment of young figure skaters at the sport's highest level.
- The 15-year-old Russian was allowed to compete despite testing positive for a banned substance, but she failed to finish on the podium for the women's individual event.
Details: The International Skating Union voted 110-16 to raise the minimum age gradually before the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan-Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, AP reports.
- 16-year-olds will be allowed to compete during the 2023-24 season. Then the minimum age will rise to 17 a year later, right before the Olympics.
- The change was in the works before the 2022 Games, but the Valieva scandal put fresh pressure on the governing body to act.
What they're saying: "This is a very important decision. I would say a very historic decision," International Skating Union president Jan Dijkema said.