ADVERTISEMENT

Reaction as Kamila Valieva cleared to skate at Olympics

February 15, 2022 GMT
A huge electronic billboard shows a photo of Kamila Valieva with words "Kamila, we are with you" on the building of the Salut hotel in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Feb. 14, 2022. Russian teenager Kamila Valieva has been cleared to compete in the women's figure skating competition at the Winter Olympics despite failing a pre-Games drug test. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
A huge electronic billboard shows a photo of Kamila Valieva with words "Kamila, we are with you" on the building of the Salut hotel in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Feb. 14, 2022. Russian teenager Kamila Valieva has been cleared to compete in the women's figure skating competition at the Winter Olympics despite failing a pre-Games drug test. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
A huge electronic billboard shows a photo of Kamila Valieva with words "Kamila, we are with you" on the building of the Salut hotel in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Feb. 14, 2022. Russian teenager Kamila Valieva has been cleared to compete in the women's figure skating competition at the Winter Olympics despite failing a pre-Games drug test. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
1 of 5
A huge electronic billboard shows a photo of Kamila Valieva with words "Kamila, we are with you" on the building of the Salut hotel in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Feb. 14, 2022. Russian teenager Kamila Valieva has been cleared to compete in the women's figure skating competition at the Winter Olympics despite failing a pre-Games drug test. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
1 of 5
A huge electronic billboard shows a photo of Kamila Valieva with words "Kamila, we are with you" on the building of the Salut hotel in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Feb. 14, 2022. Russian teenager Kamila Valieva has been cleared to compete in the women's figure skating competition at the Winter Olympics despite failing a pre-Games drug test. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Reaction from the Olympics and social media after Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva was cleared to compete in Beijing despite failing a drug test in December. The ruling was made Monday by a Court of Arbitration for Sport panel sitting at the Olympics. The 15-year-old Valieva is the favorite in the women’s individual event that begins Tuesday and already captured gold when the Russian athletes competing as ROC, short for Russian Olympic Committee, won the team event last week.

___

“The panel considered that preventing the athlete to compete at the Olympic Games would cause her irreparable harm in the circumstances ... We would not have this case and I would not be here if these anti-doping test procedures would have been completed in one week or 10 days as it is generally the case for example at the Olympic Games.” — Court of Arbitration for Sport Director General Matthieu Reeb.

ADVERTISEMENT

___

“I strongly disagree with this decision. At the end of the day, there was a positive test and there is no question in my mind that she should not be allowed to compete. Regardless of age or timing of the test (and) results. I believe this will leave a permanent scar on our sport.” — 1998 Olympic gold medalist Tara Lipinski, now a figure skating analyst for NBC’s coverage of the Beijing Games.

___

“Kamila, we are with you!” — Billboards posted around Moscow on the eve of the ruling.

___

“She tested positive for a banned drug. What’s not clear about it? She should be out. That is as simple as that. What kind of message are they sending to millions of young boys and girls in sports — particularly figure skaters? That cheaters are allowed to compete in the Olympics, the holiest competition on the planet. It totally destroys the Olympic spirit.” — Arthur Liu, father of Alysa Liu, a U.S. figure skater and Valieva competitor

___

“We are disappointed by the message this decision sends. It is the collective responsibility of the entire Olympic community to protect the integrity of sport and to hold our athletes, coaches and all involved to the highest standards. Athletes have the right to know they are competing on a level playing field. Unfortunately, today that right is being denied. This appears to be another chapter in the systemic and pervasive disregard for clean sport by Russia. We know this case is not yet closed and we call on everyone in the Olympic movement to continue to fight for clean sport on behalf of athletes around the world.” — U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland.

___

ADVERTISEMENT

“The basic issue arises of what kind of high-performance sport we actually want to have. This current case strengthens our conviction that young athletes should be given time. Humane high-performance sports cannot make big demands too early.” — German Olympic Sports Confederation president Thomas Weikert.

___

“This girl, one of the brightest phenomena in figure skating in recent times, has faced a fairly serious psychological ordeal, pressure, a burden ... She did not know until the last minute what was going on. We are pleased with this CAS decision, grateful for the fair ruling in which common sense has prevailed.” — Russian Figure Skating Federation CEO Alexander Kogan to the Tass state news agency.

___

“Go Kamila!” — Russian ice dancer and fellow team event gold medal winner Nikita Katsalapov.

___

More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/winter-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports