Kamila Valieva, the 15-year-old Russian doper, was cleared to compete at the Olympics

Last week, we discussed 15-year-old Russian figure skater and Olympian Kamila Valieva. Kamila already won a gold medal with Team ROC (Russian Olympic Committee) for the figure skating team competition last week. Soon after the Russian team won, the news came out that Valieva had tested positive for a banned substance on Christmas Day – she tested positive for an angina medication which, in all likelihood, she was given so she could train harder with a shorter recovery time ahead of the Olympics. Because of her age, this was never going to be straight-forward. It was also never going to be simple because Russia has a long, well-documented history of state-sponsored doping. That’s the whole reason why the Russian athletes have to compete under “ROC” at the Olympics and not the Russian flag. So the International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency had their hands full with this one. On Monday, there was a big hearing in Beijing to figure out what to do about a 15-year-old doper. The result of the hearing was… not good.

Kamila Valieva, the 15-year-old Russian skater who charmed these Winter Olympics before her positive drugs test sent shockwaves across the world, has sensationally been cleared to compete in the individual event due to the “exceptional circumstances” of her case. The court of arbitration for sport, which delivered its verdict shortly before 2pm Beijing time, said that banning Valieva while her doping case was ongoing “would cause her irreparable harm”.

The three-person Cas panel also ruled that the World Anti-Doping Code was unclear when it came to suspended “protected persons” under 16 years of age and said that a 44-day delay in reporting Valieva’s positive test for the banned angina drug trimetazidine had affected her ability to mount a defence.

“The panel considered that preventing the athlete from competing at the Olympic Games would cause her irreparable harm in these circumstances,” Matthieu Reeb, secretary general for the court of arbitration for sport, told the world’s press.

Reeb added that the delay in Valieva being tested in Russia on Christmas Day and her sample being reported by a laboratory in Sweden on 8 February, had been “extremely unfortunate as it affects not only the athlete, but also the organisers of the Olympic Games.

“In other words, we will not have this case if these anti-doping test procedures would have been completed in one week or 10 days as it is generally the case,” he added. Reeb also stressed that the panel was “concerned” that if a permanent suspension was imposed on Valieva and she was later cleared or given a very low sanction it would have caused “serious damage”.

As a result, Cas said it was rejecting an appeal from the International Olympic Committee, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Skating Union to reimpose her provisional suspension. However the decision does not mean that Valieva, who was revealed last week to have tested positive for trimetazidine on Christmas Day, has escaped a doping ban.

The fate of the team figure skating gold medal, won last Monday by a Russian Olympic Committee team led by Valieva, is also unlikely to be known for several weeks and the IOC later said that should Valieva finish in the top three in the individual event, there will be no medal ceremony, and the medals will be retrospectively presented once the full case has been concluded.

[From The Guardian]

I’ve read this a few times and tried to follow the reasoning behind the decision but I’m still pretty confused. The argument that the results of the test came much later than they should have… I mean, I get that, although judging solely from the lag time in testing tennis players versus getting the results of the test, it feels like five/six-week lag times are pretty common. I also understand that if WADA had gotten the results of her positive test before the Olympics, ROC would have been able to mount a last-minute defense. That being said, this decision is utter bullsh-t. They’re basically saying: yes, this child is doping but we don’t want to be unfair to her, so we’re being unfair to all of the other figure skaters who are skating clean.

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79 Responses to “Kamila Valieva, the 15-year-old Russian doper, was cleared to compete at the Olympics”

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  1. Noki says:

    Sad,she is a child and already mixed up in a doping scandal. Everyone around her has failed her.

    • SomeChick says:

      yeah, she’s 15. I doubt the adults who did this to her even told her what the med was. “here, take these vitamins!” it is sad too because she is an absolutely exquisite skater. she has so much more artistry and flow than most other skaters, even really experienced ones.

      I’m kinda meh on competition skating where they have to tick a bunch of boxes. I’ve been enjoying yt videos of noncompetitive ice dancing and some of them are breathtaking.

      • Jay says:

        I like the technical elements having set points, rather than the old scoring system which was more open to subjectivity, but I also think they should change the scoring so that a quad attempt isn’t worth quite so much. I’m old enough to remember that they had no problem disallowing Surya Bonaly’s backflips! So they can change the points system if they want to.

      • Yvette says:

        Sorry, but I don’t buy the ’15 and clueless’ story. She’s old enough to know why her fellow skaters were there under the ROC flag rather than the Russian flag. These skaters perform across Europe. I can’t believe not one reporter in some country never asked her, and the other skaters, about the Russian doping scandal (like they did with East Germany back in the day).

        In my humble opinion, we tend to look at teenagers through adult lens. Perhaps instead we should look back at ourselves to recall just how clueless ‘we’ were at the age of 15.

      • Elizabeth Phillips says:

        Agreed, Yvette. Like Tara and Johnny said last night, she’s been getting tested for a while, and if they’re giving her “vitamins” when she’s training and not for competitions, you know darned well that she knows what’s up.

      • Mac says:

        Russian figure skating is like a cult and skaters are completely controlled by their coach. Kamila’s coach bragged that she exists entirely on a liquid diet. Which means an eating disorder is basically being forced on a child so she is light enough to nail quads. She had no choice about what drugs she did and didn’t take.

      • SomeChick says:

        @Mac, exactly. her coach famously had an eating disorder when she was a skater. and Kamila is rail thin. just like with the abuses in gymnastics, this is on the dr and the coach.

      • Yvette says:

        @Mac and @SomeChick … I’m not discussing her choice in the matter, of which I’m in agreement with you, but I don’t believe for one second that she didn’t know what they were giving her. I don’t buy the ‘But I thought they were just vitamins!’ thing, not her ability to refuse to take them.

        There are a whole group of skaters who trained for years without drugs and were robbed of medals in 2014 by the ‘incredible’ Russian skating Team, who were all doping. That’s why Russia was banned. Competing under the ‘Russian Olympic Committee’ flag (ROC) was their loophole around Russia’s banishment. It should never have been allowed. SO unfair to other countries, especially when other countries, and skaters, know what the Russian skaters are doing. Kamila wasn’t the only Russian skater who tested positive. One of the male skaters did as well.

  2. Seaflower says:

    Total bs political decision.

    • Enny says:

      I kind of get it, actually.

      What they’re saying is that she is entitled to due process, that there be an investigation and that she be allowed to mount a defense to any allegations against her.

      They are not saying that she won’t ultimately be suspended. She may well be. In fact, she probably will be.

      If she competes and she is later suspended, then there is less potential harm. They simply award her medals to the next-best athlete and suspend her and move on.

      The problem with barring her from competing is the *slim* chance that she will be able to mount a successful defense, because in that case she will have been vindicated but also denied the opportunity to compete – an opportunity she can’t later get back if the investigation ultimately goes her way.

      • Gillysirl says:

        Who remembers the correction? People will remember her win and her landing that jump. The second place finishers may be awarded the gold afterwards but by then, all the glory is gone.
        It’s a slap in the face to all the competitor’s who skate clean to make them compete against someone who is using performance-enhancing drugs.
        And yes, I feel bad for her, she’s 15 and she’s not going to be able to do that jump much longer. But that doesn’t mean she gets to compete.

      • Seaflower says:

        They are also saying if she wins they won’t award medals – so other competitors will miss out.

    • pottymouth pup says:

      hmmm black athlete tests positive for non-performance enhancing pot is disqualified

      white athlete tests positive for performance enhancing drug is not

      I wonder what the difference is?

      • Peanut Butter says:

        You said it. The double standard is beyond absurd, as is the ROC designation. To have set rules for athletes and then inconsistently apply them is infuriating.

      • StellainNH says:

        This is the part that really pisses me off. The double standards and hypocrisy of the IOC is embarrassing.

      • Gillysirl says:

        Excellent point. The IOC and its supporting organizations are so corrupt and misogynistic, it’s no surprise they are racist, too.

      • Abby says:

        THIS right here.

  3. Detnow359 says:

    Disgusting. Just another long growing list of why people are frustrated and turning their backs on the IOC.

    • A says:

      Why should we watch if they’re not going to stick to the rules that they themselves made? Why should anyone compete, even? It’s such a farce.

  4. Millennial says:

    So what are the odds the Olympics vacate her wins? I’m also thinking of her being the first woman to land a quad at the Olympics – I’m curious if that will stand, too.

    I’ll be looking forward to Johnny and Tara’s commentary on this though!!

    • SomeChick says:

      she will always be the first woman to land a quad at the olympics. but she will also always have an asterisk because of all of this, even if they don’t take her medals. I feel sad for her. she’s fifteen! that is super young. and to have it happen in the middle of the games like this… how absolutely awful for her. yet more abuse of young female athletes by unethical sports “doctors” and her coach. I think it’s highly unlikely that she had any idea that there was even a risk of this.

    • M says:

      Oh they went off! Johnny in particular I was surprised at, since he’s so pro-Russia. But they both said it’s a travesty and not fair to any of the other athletes, and they are correct 100%. It is a stain on the sport forever if her wins are allowed to stand. All it does is remind me of Salt Lake City, The ISU and IOC have learned nothing.

      • lanne says:

        I’m surprised that Johnny, as a gay man, would be so openly in favor of Russia anyway, since gay men are being persecuted there

      • Abby says:

        @ianne I didn’t hear their comments on this specifically, but I can remember Johnny back in the day talking about how influential Russian culture and skaters were to his own performances when he was competing.

  5. Jay says:

    Someone on the last post about Valieva mentioned the former Soviet gymnast Elena Mukhina, who broke her leg and then her neck while being pressured to compete insanely difficult moves.

    In a documentary about her I watched on YouTube, she said that after she fell in practice and was paralyzed, her biggest emotion was simply relief, that now nobody could expect her to compete at the Olympics. I wonder what Valieva is feeling right now. Nothing about this decision is about her or her well-being.

  6. Oh_Hey says:

    Shacarri Richardson turned out to be a milkshake duck but that being said she got instantly disqualified over weed which is not a performance enhancer and is only illegal due to prevailing racism on US drug laws that influenced how other countries and the IOC handle it.

    Meanwhile an actual doper, regardless of age, got caught and gets to keep competing and keeps that gold medal. That metal should get exchanged for a gold asterisk.

    • SomeChick says:

      maybe for snowboarding… remember that Canadian snowboarder who won gold and then tested positive for weed, and the other two medalists refused to accept the higher medals so they just let him have it? Ross Rebagliati. it was the first medal awarded to a snowboarder, at Nagano.

      • Jay says:

        I remember that! It was a big deal in Canada, especially coming after Ben Johnson having his gold medal taken away in 1988. I don’t recall other athletes refusing medals, but Rebagliati did have his medal taken and then reinstated because at that point in time, marijuana was not actually banned by the IOC.

        The only reason he got in trouble was that weed in your bloodstream was considered grounds for a criminal investigation in Japan at the time.

        But, notably, Rebagliati got pretty sympathetic media coverage, lots of jokes about how he “didn’t inhale”, or that weed is far from a performance enhancer etc etc. I’m pretty sure a Black athlete would not have gotten that benefit of the doubt or the mostly positive coverage.

    • MelOn says:

      There’s a whole lot of “Poor little, naive waif” around this but I don’t believe that she didn’t know what she was taking. The Russians don’t think of kids the same way that Americans do, especially their elite athletes who have been under their control most of their lives. I believe she knew what she was taking, she may not have wanted to but she knew. This is all state sanctioned and state sanctioned WINNERS get to have good lives. She should be held accountable, but that will NEVER happen..

  7. Wiglet Watcher says:

    The whole Olympic structure is corrupt. Remember the judges making deals to fix who gets the gold for what during the Canadian and Russian figure skating teams? The Russians underperformed heavily, but we’re awarded gold. The scandal was uncovered so they Shared GOLD! Because they didn’t want to be unfair to the Russians.

    I think it’s on a Netflix show called Bad Sport or something.

    Anyway, this girl should have her medal stripped. The adults failed her and it’s sad, but she didn’t earn it.

  8. Charfromdarock says:

    Yes, she is a child and her coaches/handlers/team are the ones responsible.

    But this is punishing all the other clean athletes who are competing fairly.

    The FIgure Skating Teams have missed out on receiving their medals at the Olympics and now the women most likely will.

  9. Liesel says:

    If you’re too young for the rules to apply to you, you’re too young to be competing. The age limit for all athletes competing in the Olympics, regardless of the sport, should be raised to 18.

    • MsMecury says:

      I agree. Russia seems to turn them out before they become women and grow into puberty anyway. I truly feel sorry for these girls.

    • Nic919 says:

      This is it. If she’s a protected person because she is under 16 then she shouldn’t be competing at the Olympics. Some sports have an age minimum of 16 anyway.

      The coach is known for poorly treating the skaters so this skater is a victim herself, but this is a bad decision and she will have a cloud over her for the entire competition.

    • Elizabeth Phillips says:

      Absolutely agree! Yes, she’s abused and exploited, but I also think she knew what was going on.

  10. Eurydice says:

    Yeah, this is weird – they’ve also said that, in “fairness” to the other skaters, there won’t be a medal ceremony if she wins.

  11. lanne says:

    This is horrible for Valieva. The best thing that could have happened would be that her suspension was reinstated, she goes home, she’s a hero in Russia because of the “bad Westies,” and she trains for 2026, when she will be 19. Team Eteri and their shady methods are put on notice, and Kamila is recognized for the victim she truly is.

    By letting her skate, the powers that be have made HER, not her team, into the villain. My personal biggest fear is making other people compromise themselves to accomodate me: (gee, LANNE f-ed it up for EVERYBODY!) is nightmare fuel for me. The entire competition has been compromised to accomodate her. The entire skating community is against her. As soon as the story breaks in western media in a big way, this poor girl is going to be a global pariah. Also, she’s now a pawn in horrible Russian politics. There have been so many skaters who have been banned for doping: one Olympic medialist was banned because her boyfriend doped, another banned because of ingredients in her makeup. And don’t forget poor gymnast Andrea Raducan, who lost her 2000 Olympic gold medal in the individual all-around because her doctor gave her a sudafed (which was banned at the time, but has now been taken off the banned list). She had a legitimate cold–she wasn’t doping. The Romanian doctor was banned. The Russian doctor who doped Valieva is the same guy who pushed urine samples through the wall to exhange them for clean samples at the Sochi Olympics. Why is this guy a team doctor?

    This means that Russian doping of children will continue unabated. Figure Skaing is losing its integrity as a sport. The dreams of every single ladies competitor are being compromised for the sake of this 1 skater. How can Valieva handle this? Even if she’s defiant now, what’s going to happen when she grows up and is able to think for herself? If she were my daughter, I’d pull her from the competition. It’s just a skating competition, and she’s young enough to go to another Olympics with healthier training. The decisions being made on her “behalf” (actually, on team Russia’s behalf) could damage her for the rest of her life. Who doubts that Team Russia will cast this girl aside as soon as she becomes inconvenient to them?

    • Zappy says:

      Not really, if you follow figure skating, athlete from eteri’s retires early. 18-19 y.o
      Its very slim chance valieva will compete for the next olympic.

      • lanne says:

        She can compete another Olympics if she LEAVES Eteri and goes to skate for a coach that will treat her like a human being. She shouldn’t be allowed to complete because it’s her “last chance” as a 15 year old. It’s time to break the Eteri Abuse Factory, not just for Kamila’s sake, but for all the 10-13 year olds who will be doped up, starved, and abused in god knows how many ways during the next cycle. Skating will be completely a joke if we all come back in 4 years to watch another crop of prepubescent 15 year olds who are finished by age 17 with broken backs and eating disorders.

      • Maddiish says:

        She won’t. A few of eteri’s students do try to leave before they’re physically shot, but most of them come back–if they’re under a different coach, they won’t get leniency from the judges on their attempts at ultra C elements. And every time they jump a quad with eteri’s crappy technique, they’re putting themselves at risk–especially at Valieva’s age. In eteri’s program, 15 isn’t a spring chicken anymore, she’s presumably been jumping quads with poor technique for years. There was a girl around Valieva’s age a few years ago who landed a quad (maybe a quint?) in training, posted a video of it, and retired a few days later because of an injury.

        As long as the judges are rewarding ultra c elements –especially awarding so many just for the attempt and especially quads –we will always see new, fresh 15 year olds ready to ruin themselves jumping them.

  12. Izzy says:

    WADA is such a joke.

  13. Msmercury says:

    I do like her but this isn’t fair or right. Now 15 year olds will know they can dope and get away with it because of their age. Raise the age and arrest all the adults who drugged the kids.

  14. Zappy says:

    The worst part, because of this scandal there will be no medal ceremony for team event winner, at all.
    They didnt want to rob valieva olympic experience but they rob other player olympic moment

  15. Ocho says:

    This result does not discourage drugging child athletes. The Cas panel say their decision is in Valieva’s best interest, but is it? Nor are they discouraging reporting your drug results in a timely manner. Of course, my suspicious mind is wondering if they are delaying a negative decision against a Russian athlete to just not p-ss off Russia this week… which I would understand more.

    • lanne says:

      If Russia invades another country because of a figure skating medal, then we have big, big problems in our world. Even so, she’s going to return to Russia where she will likely be used as a pawn and made to stand next to Putin. I hope she withdraws–claims illness or injury (she probably is chronically injured already). I fear for her mental health as well as her physical health.

  16. LaraW” says:

    From what I understand in the CAS media release, the panel declined to reinstate her provisional ban due to the fact that the World Anti-Doping Code itself “is silent with respect to provisional suspension imposed on protected persons.” This sounds like she’s sliding by on a technicality and in some ways she is, but you also can’t mount a defence if there is no rule which dictates the standard of proof you need to meet to clear your name.

    In the absence of a firm rule, it sounds like the arbitration panel did the best they could with what they had, which was borrow from other WADC provisions dealing with sanctions of protected person and kind of create their own test to balance factors and evidence. They point to the fact that she hasn’t tested positive at all in Beijing, and that in these particular circumstances, ie the Olympics, it would cause “irreparable harm” to prevent her from competing. The emphasis on the Olympics to me implies that if this were a (relatively) lower stakes competition, they would have kept the provisional suspension.

    To me the ruling sounds like ‘in the absence of an actual rule (which is not our job to make up on the spot), given the fact that she hasn’t tested positive in Beijing, and given the indisputable fact that suspending her now at the Olympic games would cause irreparable harm, we decline to keep the provisional suspension.’

    Is it fair to other athletes? Arguably not. But there’s a great deal of institutional failure here too— namely the fact that the World Anti-Doping Code does not have a rule regarding temporary suspension of protected persons.

  17. Denver D says:

    She is a child being exploited. There is a possibility she didn’t even know what she got, it makes me sick. Even if she “knew,” she’s a child under the pressure of incredibly powerful adults. I hate this for her, it makes me so angry.

    • BrickyardUte says:

      Agreed but I’m letting her compete they are allowing this kind of exploitation to continue. The only way this stops is by them saying this kind of behavior will not tolerated and coaches/parents doing this to their children will not be allowed to compete in an Olympic setting.

    • MelOn says:

      She should not be competing with adults if she can’t face the same consequences as the others competing. Frankly, they should stop letting people under 17 compete. Of course you can skate faster and jump higher than everyone else when they’re all 18-25 and you’re 15 and you have “help”.

  18. Mireille says:

    Sorry, but not sorry on Valieva. She, at the very least, if not the entire ROC skating team, should be banned from competing at the Olympics. Throughout this WHOLE ORDEAL, all I hear from the media is about being “fair” to HER and ensuring that this does not cause “serious damage” to HER career, HER reputation. Yet, if she wins a medal, there will be no medal ceremony — as there is now, no ceremony, no chance to show national pride for earned victories for the U.S. and Japan for their wins in the Team Event.

    Are we just tiptoeing around the ROC because why? They have a 15-year old phenom who can land a quadruple jump? Is this what these games are about? “Serious damages” have already been dealt to the skaters and countries who followed the rules and have competed fairly. We’re NOT TALKING ENOUGH about them. Any other skater that shares the podium with her will not get to celebrate their Olympic victory, because of HER and the ROC. Can we please give some air time to these skaters, who have spent years training for the Olympics only to have their chances, their moment TARNISHED by yet another ROC doping scandal?

    I’m not feeling generous nor empathetic to her or the ROC’s situation. So, I don’t want to hear it. I reserves all sympathy for those other competitors and countries who will suffer from this ruling.

    • Christy says:

      I get what your saying except for the part about no empathy for a 15 year old child who likely has had no control over her own body or destiny.

    • Nic919 says:

      Figure skating is still heavily controlled along the lines of the Cold War countries starting with Russia and then all the breakaway republics that always support Russia. And France shows up too.

      The corruption that existed when Sale and Pelletier were robbed of their gold medal moment has not changed and until the coaches from most of those countries are simply expelled, this is going to continue.

      Also they need to penalize jumps with bad technique. If the quads with bad technique are graded highly then they won’t be done, but the ISU is such a corrupt organization that it will never change.

  19. M says:

    This will be appealed by both sides ad nauseum. There is a story about a Russian who doped and it took 10 YEARS to resolve the issue and award the medal to the correct competitor. Russia will never learn unless you remove them and their athletes from the Olympics entirely for at least one whole cycle (summer and winter).

  20. Scal says:

    This is a program that got busted for cheating SO badly that Russia isn’t even allowed to do their own doping testing anymore. So it gets sent to Stockholm. Where they had a outbreak and then a backlog so they were only focusing on medalists 🤦🏻‍♀️ Which ROC now gets to benefit from and use in their lame defense.

    I don’t think she knew she was doping as a 15 year old I’m sure she had no idea what her coaches were handing her. It sucks but they should have banned her. A illegal drug is a illegal drug. I mean they did that right away for track stars who did pot or had a legal abortion-so the fact they are letting the pretty figure skater slide is such bias it’s gross.

    • Nic919 says:

      At 15 she’s being wilfully blind if she is pretending she didn’t know what Eteri does. It’s a open secret around the figure skating world. That said she is too young to be held responsible. But also she shouldn’t be competing.

  21. Barbie1 says:

    ROC constantly cheating and getting away with it. Not to mention child abuse. Will Kamila be allowed to do interviews I wonder.

  22. NessaB says:

    I am not surprised at all, in fact, it now makes sense as to why she looks terribly sad in every photo and video of her. Free Kamila!

  23. Bikny says:

    If 15 is too young to know what drugs/supplements you are told to take, then it is too young to compete at the senior level.

  24. reef says:

    They’re gonna let her compete to possibly strip her of her medals? I mean, I guess…

  25. Emily says:

    It’s essentially a technicality, which in criminal law gets cases thrown out all of the time. I feel bad for the skater, who is a victim of child abuse. It’s unfortunate that Russia continues to face no repercussions and the horrible treatment of young figure skaters will continue.

    Also, as a Canadian, if she had been disqualified we could have gotten bronze 🙁

  26. Truthiness says:

    Reprehensible. All of it.

  27. Brita says:

    The CAS is so concerned about “irreparable damage” to this doper’s feelings that they are forcing all of the other skaters… to compete against a doper. What about *their* feelings? The Olympics is disgusting. At the very least, I won’t be watching anymore figure skating. Russia/OAR/ROC/Dopers should NOT be there. They have never stopped doping, that much is clear, and they have no intention of ever stopping the practice. RUSADA is a total joke.

  28. Sue says:

    That just puts me off of watching the competition. It was already a joke when the IOC “banned” Russia from competing, but they compete anyway. “Yeah, Russia dopes and it unfairly puts them ahead of their competitors. Oh well.” I wish all the other skaters would boycott this one, but they probably won’t – all that training and hard work gone to waste. Such utter bull-s–t.
    Maybe I’ll watch just to hear Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski’s commentary. They’ve already stated this is devastating for their sport.

  29. Cheryl says:

    Thank you.
    The Russian team and Eteri’s athletes cheat and they got caught. Her athletic accomplishments mean nothing under these circumstances because they were achievable through a stamina-enhancing drug. Disgusting situation for other athlete’s who train and compete cleanly and think the Olympic competition means anything.

  30. Shanaynay says:

    I’m not so sure that I believe she didn’t know what she was doing!! That’s certainly an easy scapegoat though. I think she needs to be disqualified, and all her medals taken away. Period, the end!!!!!

    • Julia K says:

      I also believe she knew. Both our daughters skated competitively on the local level. They catch on very early in the game about politics, fairness, playing favorites and what happens when you break the rules and get scolded but the daughter of a local bigwig gets it swept under the rug. These kids know what’s going on behind the scenes, they are not naive and they share information among themselves that even the parents don’t know. When skaters advance from local to national, they are very aware of what is going on around them. If she didn’t know what pill she was taking you can bet the older skaters did and clued her in. The elite skating world is a tight knit group and they watch out for each other.

  31. TEALIEF says:

    There are intersex women who cannot compete in certain track events because the testosterone their body naturally produces gives them a “competitive advantage.” They cannot compete, so why should she be able to? Her competing is in contravention to the rules, and it’s unfair to put her in a protected category because of her age. The category already exists for her, and others in her age group, it’s called the Youth Olympics. It’s cheating, and it throws a pall over all the events, and the other athletes.

    They speak of the spirit of the Olympics, well the spirit has left. The impression, backed by current and historical facts, are that Russian athletes are structurally supported dopers. Dopers who cycle on and off to beat testing, and to inflate a medal count. I watch all Russian athletes with the starting premise they all dope. The IOC might as well add another tier to the Olympics: Olympics, Paralympics, Doperlympics. Doperlympics: We don’t care that it’s not fair. The only rule on testing being: hormones, steroids (natural or synthetic), or drugs must be administered.

  32. Andie says:

    I had a job at fifteen working as a cashier. Somehow I managed not to steal handfuls of money from the till at the end of each shift, because fifteen-year-olds still know right from wrong. She knew it was wrong to dope and she’s hiding behind her age. Same for her coaches.

    The entire olympics is a $$$joke$$$ anyway so, if the decision fits.

    • Christy says:

      That’s an apples and oranges comparison unless your every move was as tightly controlled by the government as this 15 year old’s. Exactly what do you think would have happened to this girl and her family if she had not gone along.

    • candy says:

      I don’t think you fully appreciate what it means to be an athlete at this level. They are all taking tons of vitamins, supplements, pain killers, etc. I doubt she has any idea what she was being given, especially growing up so brainwashed. Who knows if it was even given to her in pill form. I blame the system, in this particular instance.

  33. Elizabeth says:

    It’s a clean bill of “do whatever the f you want” to Russia. So they will, and with no repercussions. The IOC may have just put the final nail in the coffin for the olympics. Truly sad.

  34. Em says:

    The Russians have made this about nationalism. She has been made into a symbol of Russian nationalism and according to their local press, this is simply a case of the West attacking a talented child. There are currently giant posters of Kamila throughout Moscow. It’s vile. It completely distorts what this is really about: a ruthless federation doping a minor in the dishonest pursuit of gold at all costs. The decision reached is also egregious because the clean athletes will now compete against someone who had an advantage while training. They will likely lose to her. How will that feel? They likely have spent their entire lives looking forward to this now tainted event. This should have been an amazing experience for them. I cannot help but think that a certain “pressure” by Russia influenced the decision that was reached. If Kamila were not Russian she would not be participating. It is a farce that she has been shown such leniency when Russia is already on thin ice for previous doping scandals. I mean, you can’t make this up. The question is, when will Russian doping end? What will it take? Enough is enough.

  35. lizziebee65 says:

    It’s a shame because figure skating has been one of my favorite sports in the winter Olympics (I used to watch it all the time with my grandmother). But now I will be skipping the womens event because I will not be party to watching a cheater (whether knowingly or not) be awarded a gold medal while the athletes who played by the rules get screwed. And what about Sha’Carri Richardson of the US being banned for a failed drug test from the summer Olympics in 2021. Fair is fair is fair – what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander – regardless of the gander’s age! So only Russia gets a pass for cheating? Count me out.

  36. candy says:

    Infuriating. The decision is a surprise but not the fact that she was doping. I guess we’ll never really know how she would have performed without drugs, but when an athlete comes out so far ahead of the field and seems to be light years ahead of equally prepared competition, it begs the question. I guess Russians started expanding doping programs outside of traditional endurance sports, after their teeny slap on the wrist. This is just terrible for the other athletes that are competing clean.

  37. tamsin says:

    Is it time for the ROC to go? They’ve made everything a farce. It is ultimately unfair to all the athletes who are clean. The abuse of adolescent and pre-pubescent girls in gymnastics and figure skating is criminal as well as immoral.

  38. eric says:

    Aren’t American the same? USTA and ATP hide andre agassi doping ?

  39. A says:

    Eh. I do kind of understand their reasoning. Sort of. I guess they’re saying that yes, she was doping, but if the results had come on time, everyone would have known about it sooner. It’s not her fault that they were late. She squeaks by on the smallest of technicalities, but she squeaks by.

    Frankly though, I’m pretty sure that the IOC is just trying desperately at this point to not hemorrhage any more viewers. These are the first winter Olympics in a long time that I have not bothered to watch. Figure skating has a pretty sizeable fandom of its own, which I’m sure make up a good percentage of the viewing figures for these Olympics. Regardless of the opinions people have on Valieva’s coach and w/e, people are still tuning in to watch her, especially I’m guessing young people.

    Do I agree with the decision? No. Do I think Russia ought to be thrown out indefinitely until they can prove they can clean up their act? Yes. I think they got their chance, and they blew it. Do I understand why the IOC was hesitant to do exactly that? Yes. But right now, not only are these people ruining it for everyone else, the sort of behaviour they’re encouraging in Valieva and her coach in particular is dangerous to young women. What sort of sportsmanship are they truly encouraging, when athletes are told that putting themselves in harm’s way will be rewarded at the end?