It feels as though every time the Olympic Games come around, so too does controversy. The 2022 Winter Games in Beijing are, unfortunately, no different.
In what appears to be the latest Olympic scandal, it was announced on Tuesday (February 15) that Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva had tested positive for a banned drug.
Valieva, a 15-year-old figure skater representing the ROC, tested positive for a drug called trimetazidine, which is used to improve blood flow and athletes’ endurance. She tested positive for the drug during the 2022 Russian Figure Skating Championships back on December 25, but the test results came back just last week and were made public on Tuesday.
The decision to allow Kamila Valieva to continue competing at #Beijing2022 despite a failed drug test "is just a slap in the face to all of those athletes doing it the right way," says @cbrennansports. https://t.co/moDxPjs92g pic.twitter.com/zzQZEKQP8O
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) February 14, 2022
Valieva’s lawyers argue that her grandfather’s heart medication somehow contaminated her drug test sample, and that Valieva was unaware of the mix-up. Valieva, who finished first in the figure skating qualifying round with a top score of 82.16, was still allowed to compete because the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) lifted her ban during a hearing. Valieva could win the Gold medal for the ROC on Thursday, but the IOC has announced that no medal will be awarded until the case can be further investigated.
Team USA figure skater Adam Rippon ripped Valieva and her team. “[They’re] dirty cheaters, and we are accommodating them,” he said. “I don’t know how the Olympics recovers from this. They shouldn’t be here at the Olympic Games. They’re clowns.”
None of this is fair. You can be heartbroken for this 15 year old girl and at the same time be heartbroken that every other skater in this event will have to compete knowing that the competition is not clean.
— Adam Rippon (@AdamRippon) February 14, 2022
Rippon later emphasized that he blamed Valieva’s coaches and staff more than he did the 15-year-old. “What this says is that the team around her are child abusers. The only thing they care about is performance, and not the health and well-being of their athletes. They are a factory that pumps out children who can compete, up to a certain point. It doesn’t feel like the coaches involved in the ladies’ program are coaches at all, but dog trainers; they’re running a circus.”
Whatever the case may be, Valieva is still eligible to participate and potentially even win the Gold for the ROC, but it paints a dark picture for the worldwide event. What do you think of this matter? Do you think Valieva is innocent or guilty? Let us know, by either leaving a reaction below or by sending us a tweet at @celebsecrets.