Athletes Speak Out Against Valieva’s Return to the Ice Amidst Doping Discovery 

By: Julia Ordaz

15 year old Kamila Valieva took the 2022 Olympic ice skating scene by storm, becoming  the first woman to land a quad in Olympic history. However, when a failed drug test from December reemerged, Valieva’s performance validity was thrown in the air by other athletes. 

Valieva tested positive for Trimetazidine: a heart drug that was banned at the Games for its ability to increase endurance, but her attorneys claim that the drug entered her system by accident when she had a sip of her grandfather’s drink. Doping is the use of drugs to enhance athletic performance, giving the user an unfair advantage. 

The International Olympic Committee or IOC has allowed her to return to the ice, but has stated that if she places in the top 3, there will be no medal ceremony for the women skaters. With her outstanding performances so far, Valieva is expected to win the gold medal. 

During the summer 2021 Tokyo Olympics, U.S. sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson was suspended for a month. Richardson tested positive for marijuana, which she claimed to use to help cope with the loss of her mother. Richardson was the top candidate to receive the gold medal. 

The teen represents the Russian Olympic Committee, in place of the banned country that has lost 46 Olympic medals due to its doping scandals. Valieva represents her country’s will, and whether or not she was prepared, the scandal thrust Valieva into the isolating and scandalous world of politics. 

In a tweet posted on February 14, 2022 Richardson compares Valieva’s case to her own. In it she writes, “Can we get a solid answer on the difference of her situation and mine? My mother died and I can’t run and was also favored to place top 3. The only difference I see is I’m a young black lady.” 

Former figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi also weighed in on the situation. Concerning the Olympic doping policies and Valieva’s disregard for them Yamaguchi said, “…you want to see that even playing field for everyone out there and right now, it’s not and it’s not right.”

Despite these feelings of contempt towards Valieva, viewers are sure to watch her latest performances in awe.

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