Doping accusation against Valiyeva: Putin complains when honoring his Olympic heroes

Doping allegations against Valiyeva
Putin scolds when he honors his Olympic heroes

As a result of Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine, Russian athletes are excluded from much of international sport. President Putin spares no criticism when he honors Olympic medal winners.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has defended the figure skater Kamila Valiyeva, suspected of doping, from allegations of manipulation. “Through her hard work, she has elevated sport to an art form,” Putin said in a televised tribute to the winners of the 2022 Russian Winter Olympics. “Such perfection cannot be achieved dishonestly, even with substances and manipulations “. Instead it is “notoriously” that doping in figure skating does not bring any advantage.

Valiyeva, who turned 16 on Tuesday, tested positive for a banned substance at the Russian Championships in December. However, this achievement only became public on February 8, after the start of figure skating decisions in China. The day before the announcement of the positive doping test, the then 15-year-old had won the gold medal in the team competition alongside the Russian team.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) therefore canceled the awards ceremony until further notice, as long as the anti-doping trial was not completed. More than two months before the end of the matches, there is still a long time left, especially due to the annoyance of the US and Japan teams, which are currently silver and bronze classified respectively, but would rise if Russia were disqualified. The Arbitration Tribunal of Sport had allowed Valiewa to start also in the singles, where the child prodigy missed a place on the podium after numerous mistakes and in tears in fourth place.

Accusations against international sport

Valiyeva’s case was one of the big problems at the Winter Games, where Russian athletes had to compete without a national flag and national anthem due to the doping scandal. Officially, they started as the “Russian Olympic Committee” because the IOC had decided not to be completely excluded. It is currently not entirely clear when the doping allegations against the teenager and her environment around the controversial coach Eteri Tutberidze can be cleared up. Officially, the Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA has until August to complete the investigation.

Following the Putin-ordered war of aggression and the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, several international sports federations suspended Russian athletes from their competitions and championships, including figure skating, until further notice. Valiewa had therefore played her first competition since the Olympics recently in a kind of “counter-world cup” in Russia, after participation in the official World Cup in Montpellier, France had ended due to sanctions.

As reported by the Reuters news agency, at the ceremony in honor of the medalists, Putin also criticized the exclusion of Russian and Belarusian athletes from the Paralympics in March of this year. The International Paralympic Committee had drawn this conclusion at short notice following the invasion ordered by Putin. He described this passage as a “violation of the fundamental principles of sport” and “fundamental human rights” – given the numerous documented indications of war crimes by Russian troops in Ukraine, a notable accusation in the negative.

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