Olympic Skater Kamila Valieva Will Continue Competing Following Drug Scandal: See Reactions
Olympics viewers have taken to social media to react to the decision allowing a figure skater who tested positive for a banned substance to continue competing in the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games.
Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva became a topic of intense scrutiny after it was revealed that she tested positive for a banned medication ahead of the Games, according to NPR.
Newsweek reported that the test results did not come back until the Olympics had already begun. The situation became public knowledge after a medal ceremony for the ice skating group event was delayed last week. Russia won in the category with Valieva's assistance.
Her positive test raised questions about whether or not she should continue in this year's event.
The decision to allow the 15-year-old to compete in the upcoming women's single skating competition was handed down by the Court of Arbitration for Sport today (Feb. 14). Her status as a minor means Valieva qualified as "protected person," according to People. The panel decided that preventing her from competing could cause "irreparable harm."
Despite this, the International Olympic Committee decided that there will not be a medal ceremony for the event if Valieva places within the top three. She will reportedly not be awarded until a full investigation into the potential doping is completed.
In the hours following the news, a slew of athletes and more casual viewers took to social media to respond to the decision.
Track and field athlete Sha'Carri Richardson called out the ruling in a series of tweets. She emerged as a star ahead of the Tokyo Olympics last year but was barred from competing after testing positive for THC. The decision regarding Richardson was made by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency; however, she noted a stark difference in how the two cases were handled.
"Can we get a solid answer on the difference of her situation and mines," Richardson tweeted. "My mother died and I can’t run and was also favored to place top 3. The only difference I see is I’m a black young lady."
Read Richardson's tweets about the topic below:
Many others seemingly agreed with Richardson's tweets and continued to point out what they viewed as unfair differences.
Former professional figure skater Adam Rippon, who most recently competed in the 2018 games, took to Twitter to comment on the situation. Last month he announced on Instagram that he was traveling to Beijing to coach U.S. skater Mariah Bell, meaning he is in the midst of the scandal.
Rippon railed against the decision regarding Valieva and argued that it would cause "irreparable harm" to the Games as a whole.
"None of this is fair. You can be heartbroken for this 15 year old girl and at the same time be heartbroken that every other skater in this event will have to compete knowing that the competition is not clean," he wrote in one of several tweets.
Read his full reaction below:
While plenty of users seem to feel for Valieva, they do not agree with the decision to allow her to continue to compete.
Check out some of the responses below: