According to Olympic commentators and US figure skating champs, Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir, Russian skater Kamila Valieva, who tested positive for performance enhancing drugs, had it coming when she fell repeatedly and finished in fourth place.
“Thank God!” 2008 bronze medalist Weir cheered. Lipinski, who won gold at Nagano in 2008, added, “Thank goodness for all the other medalists to have that moment and to have done it cleanly.”
Lipinski was relieved, because if Valieva had won, none of the other medalists would have been able to participate in the medal ceremony due to an investigation into the doping inquiry.
“I don’t even know what to feel or think,” Lipinski said. “All the other athletes, what they’ve gone through this week. The possibility of there being no medal ceremony or podium, that’s what every little girl dreams of when they think of the Olympics.”
15-year-old Valieva tested positive for a banned substance after winning gold in the team competition, and an Olympic panel controversially chose to let her continue to compete during the investigation process, because of the “irreparable harm” missing out would cause at her age.
1993 gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi called the ruling “not within the Olympic ideals.” Weir and Lipinski clearly agreed, as they were mostly silent during Valieva’s Tuesday short program, which she finished in first place.
“She had a positive test. We should not have seen this skate,” Lipinski stated.
“With all of this news I just, I feel so uncomfortable as a skater and as a skating fan even having to commentate her performance simply because she should not be able to compete in this competition,” Weir said.
Olympic icon @kristiyamaguchi weighs in on the controversy surrounding Russian figure skater, Kamila Valieva, offers advice for Team USA skaters, and more. https://t.co/hRAh6tIKBv
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 15, 2022
Valieva tested positive for heart medicine trimetazidine in December. The results were not received until after her team skated. On Tuesday, the young athlete’s lawyers said that the drug had gotten into her system when she shared a glass of water with her grandfather, who is on the medication.
The explanation was far-fetched at best, but to make it even less plausible, a review of her test results revealed non-banned substances hypoxen and L- Carnitine. Both drugs are rarely prescribed to teenagers, and when combined with trimetazidine, are a performance enhancing cocktail.
Going into Thursday’s long program, Russia’s “Quad Squad” was positioned to sweep the event, but Valieva crumbled under the pressure, falling early on in the program and again on her fourth quad.
“I can’t imagine how tough this has been on Kamila and it makes me angry that the adults weren’t able to make better decisions and guide her and be there for her because she is the one now dealing with the consequences,” Lipinski remarked. “And she’s just 15 and that’s not fair. With that being said, she should not have been allowed to skate in this Olympic event.”
“On a human level I can’t imagine going through what she has been through,” Weir added, “but that doesn’t change the fact that she should’ve been nowhere near this competition. Every athlete at this level knows and understands that if you test positive for a banned substance you will not compete.”
Valieva broke down while her coach Eteri Tutberidze repeatedly asked her “why she threw thataway,” and her entourage displayed what International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach described as “tremendous coldness” when he berated them.
“The court that ruled to allow Kamila to skate in this competition was worried about the ramifications on her mental health of not competing,” Weir concluded. “And I wonder what they are thinking now as to what just happened to Kamila Valieva.”
I actually feel bad for the teenager from Russia. She must trust her doctors, trainers and coaches in regards to what meds she can take; this is not her fault, but rather, theirs.
Exactly and they are scum. Juist like when they were in the Soviet Union.
The cold heartedness of her coaches will probably cause her to quit skating altogether. That whole thing was a gigantic travesty. The Soviet Union was infamous for cheating and Russia is no different now than it was then. They should be banned from all future competitions.