Kim Yuna criticizes decision to allow Valieva to compete in Beijing
Retired Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yuna criticized the Court of Arbitration for Sport's controversial decision to allow Russian skater Kamila Valieva to compete at the Olympics despite a positive doping test, saying on Monday that there cannot be any exception in the application of the rules.
"Athlete who violates doping cannot compete in the game," Kim said in a post on her Instagram account. "This principle must be observed without exception. All players' efforts and dreams are equally precious."
The brief post accompanied a black square where a photograph would normally appear on the social network.
Fifteen-year-old Valieva is at the center of a doping scandal that has quickly become the biggest story of the 2022 Beijing Olympics. Her status as a minor has also complicated issues, as anti-doping rules recognize that she is unlikely to be entirely culpable for her actions.
Valieva tested positive for a banned heart medication in a urine test taken in late December, but the results of the test were not reported by a lab in Sweden until last week, after she had helped the Russian Olympic Committee win the team figure skating competition.
The Russian anti-doping agency suspended her when the rest results were announced, but then lifted that suspension within the same day. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) postponed the medal ceremony for the team figure skating event and, along with the International Skating Union and the World Anti-Doping Agency, appealed against the decision to lift the suspension.
In a provisional ruling on Monday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that Valieva should be allowed to compete in the women's singles event that starts Tuesday, but left the issues of any medals being awarded under review. In response, the IOC on Monday announced that if Valieva places in the top three within the singles event, there will be no medals ceremony for any athletes involved.
Both the decision to allow her to compete and to suspend all medals if she places in the top three have been met with an immediate backlash from across the sporting world. Kim, the 2010 Vancouver Games gold medalist and 2014 Sochi Games silver medalist, is one of many top athletes to criticize the decision.
“How is anyone going to take the women’s event seriously now?” 2018 Olympic gold medalist Meagan Duhamel of Canada said on Monday. “We were just told illegal drugs and abuse are OK. If that is what this sport is about now, I want nothing to do with it. February 14 2022. The day the Olympic spirit died.”
Sha’Carri Richardson, the American sprinter who missed the Tokyo Olympics due to a positive test for marijuana, also tweeted about the dramatic difference between the way she was treated and that of Valieva.
"The only difference I see is I’m a black young lady," Richardson said.
BY JIM BULLEY [email@example.com]