Ice skating calamity falls flat this Olympics

Millions of words will have been written and spoken about Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva competing in the Winter Olympics.

Only one is needed.


The 15-year-old skater, who is in first place heading into tonight’s free skating medal final, has tested positive for a banned performance-enhancing drug.

It’s a fact.

Russia, as a country, is banned from the Olympics for its athletes using banned performance-enhancing drugs.

It’s a fact.

So Russia appealed to the International Court of Arbitration for Sport on behalf of Valieva, and the three-person hand-picked committee, with Russia’s approval, declared that she could compete and hold all the medals. if she got a spot on the podium until she was anti-doping officials are investigating.

Among the members of that three-person committee who said to forget the facts was Jeffrey Benz, an American lawyer who once represented Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova when she was accused of using enhancing drugs. the performance.

A former figure skater, Benz has been repeatedly endorsed by Russia to hear their cases. There are 12 officials on the board of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but only three hear a case.

Russia seems to be spending more than its fair share of time with CAS because its athletes fail doping tests often enough to be banned from the Olympics, despite the Russian Olympic Committee being allowed to compete.

It is a puzzling fact.

ROC officials have defended Valieva, saying trimetazidine, a heart drug that can improve heart performance, may have been because her grandfather took it and she may have accidentally contracted it. cross-contamination at home.

They also said she was only 15 years old. His age is apparently a fact.

No matter how much they throw against the wall, there’s not much that sticks to make this whole situation look anything but fake.

This is not what the Olympiques need to improve their image or their popularity.

Valieva’s sample was taken last December but was only reported two weeks ago by a Swedish lab.

The World Anti-Doping Agency has announced that it will investigate her coach, Eteri Tutberidze, and everyone around Valieva.

Valieva was the favorite to win the gold medal heading into these Olympics, and her performance on Tuesday was brilliant.

She is like poetry on ice.

She was almost faultless.

Yet the shadow is there now and will be forever. Was it part of this beauty on skates because her heart was aided by a banned drug?

At the end of her performance, she cried as she left the rink, and it is reported that these were not tears of joy but of frustration over the accusations.

The ROC didn’t make her available for interviews, and that’s okay because she’s 15 and caught up in a world of turmoil the ROC seemed to welcome.

To think that she had no idea what she was putting in her body would be as naïve as to think that Russia would have invaded Ukraine during the Olympics.

Many athletes have expressed outrage that anyone is allowed to compete after failing a drug test.

The International Olympic Committee, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Skating Union have all decided to ban Valieva from competing.

This was of course appealed to the CAS which seems to have done what is best for Russia and an athlete, rather the Olympics and all athletes.

It’s wrong.

Valieva is gifted, talented and was touted as the best in sports history, then she failed a drug test but was cleared to play, and if she wins any medals, all the medals will be in limbo until the investigation is complete.

It is simply wrong.

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