Russia’s Kamila Valieva will continue competing in the Beijing Olympics despite failing a drug test.
Should the 15-year-old figure skater finish on the podium, the IOC will not host a medal ceremony.
A 3-time Olympic medalist slammed the IOC’s move and demanded they celebrate athletes who medal.
Kamila Valieva, the 15-year-old figure skater embroiled in yet another Russian doping scandal, is cleared to continue competing at the 2022 Beijing Olympics despite testing positive for a banned substance.
But due to the lingering questions surrounding the fairness of her participation, the International Olympic Committee moved to eliminate medal ceremonies for any event in which the teenager medals or has already medaled, robbing other medalists of their special moment on the podium.
One figure skating legend — three-time Olympic medalist Meagan Duhamel — slammed the IOC’s decision to wipe out the medal ceremonies altogether. The retired Canadian star was particularly incensed that the American and Japanese athletes, who finished in second and third behind the ROC in the team event, will not be given a celebration at the games.
“I will stand up, even if I’m standing alone, to demand a team medal ceremony for the athletes from the USA and Japan,” Duhamel wrote on Twitter.
“Do not punish them for this,” she added. “Let them have their moment.”
Valieva’s performance in the Olympic figure-skating team event helped power the Russian Olympic Committee to a gold medal — an achievement that the organization has vowed to defend. But since the discovery of the positive test for Trimetazidine — a heart medication typically used to treat the symptoms of vertigo — the medal ceremony has been delayed indefinitely.
The World Anti-Doping Agency categorizes the drug as a “hormone and metabolic modulator,” per the Associated Press. When taken without proper cause, the drug can help bolster endurance and improve circulation. Both effects could give a high-level figure skater a significant competitive advantage.
Valieva was initially slapped with a provisional suspension from Russia’s anti-doping agency (RUSADA) after the positive test surfaced. However, following a swift appeal, the ban was overturned on February 9.
The IOC then challenged that decision in the Court of Arbitration for Sport. On Monday, the court issued a shocking ruling that lifted Valieva’s provisional suspension and paved the way for the teen to participate in Tuesday’s women’s single skating short program.
She’s favored to win, though the IOC will not allow her — or any other competitor — to collect their medals if Valieva finishes in the top three of the event.
Read the original article on Insider