Russian Olympic Committee figure skater Kamila Valieva recently tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. Despite this, she was still allowed to compete in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
At only fifteen years old, Valieva was favored for the Gold. After the scandal broke, The Court of Arbitration for Sport announced that she would still be allowed to skate, but if she were to win, the medal ceremony would be cancelled. They claimed to disqualify her would cause “irreparable harm” to a minor.
A truly baffling decision to many, including 1998 gold medalist, figure skater Tara Lipinski. Now a sports commentator, Lipinski has been following Valieva's story with her cohost, Johnny Weir. The two watched as during her performance, Valieva fell, losing her shot at the gold. Several small mistakes in her routine added up, and she eventually placed fourth.
Lipinski and Weir didn't hide their excitement as they reacted, with Lipinski stating,
“Thank goodness for all the other medalists to have that moment. And to have done it cleanly.”
She noted Valieva's age, and the role of the adults in her life, adding,
“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. And she’s just fifteen and that’s not fair. With that being said, she should not have been allowed to skate in this Olympic event.”
Weir was quick to agree with the Olympian, as he stated,
“On a human level I can’t imagine going through what she has been through, 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. [...] The court that ruled to allow Kamila to skate in this competition was worried about the ramifications on her mental health of not competing. And I wonder what they are thinking now as to what just happened to Kamila Valieva.”