After years of dealing with drug tests, keeping anti-doping agents apprised of his daily schedule, and tiptoeing around rules, former Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon is angry and incredulous that Russian champion Kamila Valieva was allowed to skate after a positive test for a banned heart medicine.

“As soon as there was a positive test, the athlete should have been taken out of the competition, plain and simple. That’s just how it goes,” the Scranton-born Rippon told the Inquirer by phone from Beijing, where he is coaching American champion Mariah Bell.

“A positive test is a positive test. Doping is not tolerated in the Olympic Games. All of these athletes come here and they compete under the condition knowing that they should be clean. It’s a code of ethics that was broken.”

Rippon, who grew up in South Abington Township in Lackawanna County, competed for the United States at the 2018 Olympics and has been outspoken on this issue on Twitter.

Valieva tested on Dec. 25, but the results weren’t confirmed until Feb. 7, once she had already skated the short program in the Olympic team event. Her positive test showed trimetazidine, a banned medicine used to treat angina in older adults. It also showed two other heart medicines, which are not banned and which she allegedly disclosed to RUSADA, the Russian anti-doping agency.

RUSADA placed a provisional suspension on Valieva on Feb. 8 but lifted it the next day. Many agencies appealed the lifting of that suspension.

She has tested negative since arriving in Beijing.

» READ MORE: What is trimetazidine, the drug Russian skater Kamila Valieva tested positive for before the Olympics?

The 15-year-old won both the short and long programs in the team event, helping elevate her team to first place. They compete under the flag of the Russian Olympic Committee, because the World Anti-Doping Agency banned Russia from international sports competitions in 2019.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport allowed her to skate Tuesday’s short program in the individual event. She placed first and is projected to win Thursday’s long program as well, theoretically making her a two-time Olympic champion.

But the International Olympic Committee said there would be no medal ceremony for either the women’s or team events during the Olympic Games. The United States is in the silver medal position in the team event. Placement could change pending further rulings.

Valieva’s team (which includes controversial coach Eteri Tutberidze, who produces many champions but seems to treat them as disposable) has said she did not intentionally take trimetazidine, also known as TMZ. The team said it got into her system when she shared a glass with her grandfather, who takes heart medicine.

“However this drug got into her system, it was in her system,” Rippon said. “And people have been banned for pettier things. They’ve been banned for Sudafed. They’ve been banned for eyelash serum. They’ve been banned for marijuana. They’ve been banned for much pettier things than a heart medication and a cocktail of literally three of them together.”

Rippon was tested many times during his skating career, beginning at about age 15. He has little doubt Valieva understands the process, even though since she is under 16 and considered a “protected person” by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

» READ MORE: Adam Rippon adds to his Olympic legacy by helping coach U.S. champion Mariah Bell

“I’m sure it’s ingrained in her mind. She’s had to get tested at every Grand Prix that she won, at the European Championships, and at her nationals, and she’s been tested here, obviously, as well.

Rippon was in such regular contact with his anti-doping officer that he had his number stored in his phone. He was randomly tested about four times a year plus at nearly every competition he skated.

The anti-doping process included filling out an online calendar four times a year with details of where he would be every day. He had to provide a one-hour daily time slot when he would always be available. If anything changed, he had to send an email with a new location.

For a competition, he had to provide flight information, and once there, include his hotel and room number. An anti-doping agent could call any day, and within 20 minutes, Rippon had to be where he had said he’d be.

“If you’re not there within the allotted time, it’s a missed test,” he said. Three missed tests equal a failed test.

He kept the boxes for Advil and his multivitamin in his skating bag for reference, and if he was sick, he wouldn’t take any medicine before looking it up on GlobalDRO.com, an anti-doping reference site for athletes. A slipup would mean loss of training time, competitions, and funding.

“It’s a zero-tolerance policy,” Rippon said. At least it is in the United States.

That, and perhaps racism, is why Rippon thinks American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson was not given the same leeway. It’s also why he thinks Valieva’s test from December, even with a delayed result, should mean she is banned.

“It doesn’t matter when the positive test was from, because that’s how doping works. You get away with it until you don’t. You fly a little too close to the sun, and eventually, cheaters get caught.”

But even more, Rippon feels the adults around Valieva are responsible.

“She was completely failed by her entire team. They failed her and they’ve made a mockery of this entire Games for everyone. It’s the only thing anyone’s talking about.

“It is not possible for a 15-year-old young girl to have access to medication for angina. There was an adult along the way who got that to her. And it makes it all the more suspicious that it’s this three of these drugs all together, even if two of them are legal. So it feels like a complete cocktail. And it feels like a program that was put together for her.”

The way the Russian team is justifying it doesn’t help, he said.

“To make the rest of the world feel like, to talk to us like we’re so naive. It’s a fairy tale. And liar, liar, pants on fire to whomever came up with that fake story.”

As a coach, Rippon said he not only feels free to talk in a way he wouldn’t have as a competitor. He also feels he must.

“This situation, it has all of these women completely distracted. And I think that it made for such a mess of a short program the other night.” Even Valieva had an uncharacteristic fall.

“As a coach, I feel almost a responsibility to speak out for the skaters who right now don’t feel comfortable to. Yeah, so I’m happy to do it because this isn’t fair. It’s not right. And if I was competing, I would want somebody to do this for me.”

This fiasco could have been avoided, Rippon said.

“It’s a shame because it was completely unnecessary,” he said. “She’s an incredible skater. And a lot of the qualities that she has, they’re not from a drug.”