- Sputnik International, 1920, 01.02.2022
2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing
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Sports Experts: IOC & WADA Tore Up Their Own Rulebooks to Harass Russian Teenage Skater Valieva

© Sputnik / Александр Вильф / Go to the photo bankRussian Olympic Committee's Kamila Valieva attends a training session prior the figure skating event during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing, China
Russian Olympic Committee's Kamila Valieva attends a training session prior the figure skating event during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing, China - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.02.2022
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Although the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) stated that Russian skater Kamila Valieva may continue to compete at the 2022 Olympics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ruled out a medal ceremony for the Russian figure skating team as well as for Valieva should she win the Women’s Single Skating tournament.
"It's really a nightmare," Lucien W Valloni, a Swiss-based sports lawyer. "I know a lot of sportsmen that have been involved in doping scandals, and I've represented them, and all of them had big, big pressure on them because of these allegations, which were not always true. Likewise, in the [Valieva] case, we do not know whether these claims are true - whether everything is correct. It seems not. And so the pressure is very high and her image is heavily damaged."
According to Valloni, a huge question mark hangs above the recent behaviour of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and IOC. The Russian teenage skater has been singled out by these organisations "as being a cheater", he says adding that this is an especially strong allegation given how much media attention the 2022 Beijing Olympics has received and he suggests that WADA and the IOC have not seemed to follow their own codes of conduct.
"They have put rules in place and they accept that minors need more protection," Valloni says. "But in this case the IOC violated this rule quite heavily by leaking her name and confirming who was affected by it."
© Sputnik / Anton Denisov / Go to the photo bankThe sign of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Headquarters in Lausanne
The sign of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Headquarters in Lausanne - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.02.2022
The sign of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Headquarters in Lausanne
For its part, WADA has yet to provide a convincing explanation as to why its Stockholm laboratory returned the results of Valieva's anti-doping test after a staggering gap of 45 days - when the Olympic Games in Beijing were in full swing - instead of the required 20.

"I think there were two problems," says Valloni. "The test was too late and the information was handed out, and WADA has been silent about both, but is trying to do everything to ensure that the athlete is suspended, you know. So, they are trying to do things which are in contravention of the correct application of the WADA code."

After Valieva was allowed to compete under the CAS decision, the IOC stepped in and stripped her and her team of any potential medal ceremony. "I think that's quite strange," Valloni says. "I have never seen that before, and I don't know what it has to do with protecting a minor."
The most important thing people should remember is that she is a 15-year-old girl, says John Nauright, dean of the Richard J Bolte Sr School of Business, Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland in the US.
"Regardless of the final outcome of the case, the mental health and wellbeing of Kamila Valieva is paramount," Nauright says. "Responsible adult officials on any side of this case should be held accountable."
© AP Photo / David J. PhillipKamila Valieva, of the Russian Olympic Committee, competes in the women's short program team figure skating competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022, in Beijing.
Kamila Valieva, of the Russian Olympic Committee, competes in the women's short program team figure skating competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022, in Beijing. - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.02.2022
Kamila Valieva, of the Russian Olympic Committee, competes in the women's short program team figure skating competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022, in Beijing.

Assumption of Guilt Violates Olympic Spirit

The Russian teenage figure skater has fallen prey to the anti-doping movement perverted by the West for geopolitical reasons, according to Rick Sterling, a writer and journalist specialising in doping and the Olympic Games. "There is an assumption of guilt where Russian athletes are involved," he says. "It is a violation of the Olympic spirit."
"The [anti-doping] movement says its goals are to 'protect clean athletes' but anti-doping fervour is used to attack and hurt clean athletes," Sterling notes. "Not just athletes; the political attacks are against the Russian coaches and trainers as well. This is a case in point. Common logic suggests there is virtually no possibility that anyone coaching Kamila would recommend she take a banned drug such as trimetazidine. Yet the coaches and trainers are attacked in western media. The anti-doping movement needs to be reconsidered to resist and prevent this political manipulation."
The CAS ruling has upheld the RUSADA Anti-Doping Committee's 9 February decision to lift the provisional ban on Valieva after banned substance trimetazidine was detected in her system. Last week, the IOC, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Skating Union (ISU) filed complaints with the CAS over the RUSADA move.
Dismissing the agencies' motions, CAS emphasised Valieva's status as a "protected person" under the WADA Code, the potential irreparable harm this would do the 15-year old athlete, and "serious issues of untimely notification of the results of the athlete’s anti-doping test that was performed in December 2021". According to the CAS, the last circumstance "impinged upon the athlete’s ability to establish certain legal requirements for her benefit."
Valieva's December "positive" test could affect her Olympic results despite the athlete's tests made before and after 25 December being clean, according to Sterling.
"Anti-doping rules do not permit any single violation," Sterling says. "An athlete can be penalised for a violation from months or even years before."
The CAS decision has not dispelled the tension surrounding the Russian skating team, as the court dealt narrowly with Valieva's provisional suspension, according to Valloni. Valieva and her teammates have been left in limbo as separate proceedings concerning the positive sample have yet to take place.
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