The litany of doping cases in figure skating wouldn't even fill a small leaflet.
The Wikipedia entry lists a grand total of two. Yuri Larionov, a Russian pairs skater who was later part of the 11th-place skating couple at Vancouver 2010, was nailed based on a blood sample taken before the 2007 Junior Grand Prix Final. Elena Berezhnaya, another Russian pairs skater, lost a gold medal at the 2000 European Championships after testing positive for pseudoephedrine, which was caused by taking a cold medication that she failed to clear with the International Skating Union.
That's one for Russia, two for Russia and the second was kind of tendentious. Would you like a recount? Yet Olympic doping control, which is "conducted by the Russian Olympic organizing committee," seems really, really interested in Canadian figure skaters' urine. In no way, shape or form should anyone imply this is a mind game pertaining to Canada posing a threat to Russia's medal aspirations at Vladimir Putin's Olympics, even though they are each in medal contention in the inaugural team figure skating event. In no way does this dovetail with allegations of vote-swapping, either.
(Update: with one leg left, Russia and Canada are respectively assured gold and silver in team figure skating.)
From Malcolm Kelly:
Seven of the 17 members of the figure skating team have reportedly been tested since arriving in Sochi — a high number — including Osmond on Saturday and another two at midnight the day they arrived.
Mike Slipchuk, Skate Canada’s high performance director, said Sunday he’s “never seen anyone tested before on the day of a competition.”
He’s brought the issue up with the Canadian Olympic Committee.
“At least we’re running out of skaters to be tested, which is a good thing.” CBC
So there is that. Granted, no one made much of this during Vancouver 2010, but having the host country in charge of the drug testing seems to lack in transparency. It's like a political party found to have cheated during an election revising the rules for the next election; sorry, bad example.
Slipchuk said he had "never seen" a skater tested before her or his performance. It is doubtful the Canadian Olympic Committee would wish to make waves with the IOC. This smacks a bit of selective enforcement. The only thing figure skaters are likely to test positive for is excessive perkiness, a condition for which there is no known cure.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.