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'Another sad day for clean and ethical sport...'

Last updated on: February 11, 2022 13:29 IST
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Following are reactions to Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva, who won gold in the team event at the Beijing Olympics on Monday, but failed a test for a banned substance before the Games:

Kamila Valieva

IMAGE: Kamila Valieva’s sample, which was taken by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada), was only analysed by a Swedish laboratory on Tuesday 8 February. That was a day after she led athletes representing the Russian Olympic Committee to gold in the team figure-skating. Photograph: Harry How/Getty Images
 

RUSSIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE

"In accordance with the All-Russia Anti-Doping Rules and the World Anti-Doping Code, the decision of the RUSADA Disciplinary Anti-Doping Committee to lift the Provisional Suspension may be appealed by the parties concerned to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne (CAS).

"Thus, K. Valieva currently has the right to train and compete to the fullest extent without restrictions unless the Court of Arbitration for Sport rules differently regarding her status in relation to the Olympic Games.

"Taking into account that the positive doping sample of the athlete was not collected during the Olympic Games, the results of the athlete and the results of the team event during the Olympic Games, are not automatically subject to review.

"Furthermore, the Russian Olympic Committee draws attention to the fact that the doping sample collected by the Athlete after the European Figure Skating Championships in January 2022, as well as her doping sample collected during the Olympic Games, gave negative results.

"The Russian Olympic Committee shall take comprehensive measures in order to protect the rights and interests of the members of the ROC Team and to preserve the honestly won Olympic gold medal.

"The ROC also assumes that a full investigation will be carried out to establish all the relevant legal and factual circumstances of what happened."

INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE SPOKESPERSON

"We have to wait for the process to run its course. Obviously, we want to expedite it quickly, there are possibilities for that to happen, but I am not a lawyer so I am not going to get into it... but clearly those two are separate.

"We hope the issue can be expedited in the interest of every athlete, not just the Russian.

"We have 100 percent policy against doping and clearly we will pursue all doping cases till the end. But clearly in this specific case, it's an active case and we are waiting for it to be fully seen to the end."

KATARINA WITT, GERMAN SKATING GREAT

"What they knowingly did to her, if true, cannot be surpassed in inhumanity and makes my athlete's heart cry infinitely.

"Kamila Valieva is a young girl and child prodigy, whose highly difficult performances and grace enchanted the whole world at only 15, a minor, depending on adults and she is not to blame here."

"As an athlete, you always follow the advice of your confidants, in this case she probably followed her coach and medical team. It is a shame, and the responsible adults should be banned from the sport forever!!!"

"I admire Kamila as a radiant star, who burst into the orbit of the international skating world, and I still very much wish she has come to stay."

ROB KOEHLER, FORMER WADA DEPUTY DIRECTOR

"There are three organizations to blame for Kamila Valieva's positive test, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

"By not banning Russia for four years, there was no need or desire for cultural change by Russian authorities... By allowing Russia a free pass these organizations have severely let down every single athlete in Russia because it’s business as usual."

"Athletes in Russia deserved a cultural change, they deserved the right to have the opportunity to compete clean, instead WADA, IOC and CAS favoured the power and influence of Russian sport over clean sport."

"Today is another sad day for clean and ethical sport. Clean athletes continue to suffer because of a broken system. For years athletes have been calling for WADA and IOC reforms and these calls continue to be ignored."

INTERNATIONAL SKATING UNION

"The International Skating Union (ISU) duly noted the press release issued by the International Testing Agency (ITA) and at this time it has nothing to add other than the below."

"The ISU will exercise its right to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) the decision of the RUSADA Disciplinary Anti Doping Committee of February 9 to lift the provisional suspension and to ask CAS to reinstate the provisional suspension."

"As this is an ongoing legal case, the ISU will not comment further."

UNITED STATES OLYMPIC & PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE SPOKESPERSON

"For us, this is less about medals and more about protecting the sanctity of fair and clean sport and holding those accountable that don't uphold the Olympic values."

"We don't have any comment beyond that but will let you know if that changes."

CANADIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE

"We have the same questions as everyone else about the team figure skating case."

"It's important that a fair process unfolds and the integrity of sport is protected."

"Our hope is that this is resolved quickly and the medalists get the medal moment they've earned here in Beijing."

NATHAN CHEN, AMERICAN FIGURE SKATER WHO WON GOLD

"Whatever happens to be the case will be the case. But again... I'm really proud of the way that Team USA put down, and (I'm) looking forward to hearing what comes out of this."

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Source: REUTERS
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