Kamila Valieva - Olympic Figure Skating

Stalker0

Legend
So at least in the US, the big story was around Kamila Valieva, the Russian skating prodigy who had a doping test come back positive but was allowed to compete. This led to a wave of outrage, with the ending of young Kamila falling apart on her last skate, going from one of the highest scores of all time in the previous skate to her getting 4th place....not even a medal.

For me, I found the media coverage around the young star pretty revolting. It comes down to this: While America has a legal culture of "Innocent until Proven Guilty", we certainly don't act like it in media coverage. Kamila did have a positive test, which was reviewed by the International Doping Agency. She went through the appeals process, as is her right. Ultimately the body decided to allow her to skate while the investigation was ongoing, but with the possibility of her results getting striped should the final result be that she was engaged in doping. Ultimately the system was working the problem. We can disagree with that system, disagree with that ruling, etc.... but people ripped into Kamila as the villain. No innocence until proven guilty, she was guilty flat out. Even the commentators during her routine would say "she should not be on the ice right now". That is just disgusting to me, to see this young woman competing, and everyone ripping into her over an accusation that the system was handling.

Again, I'll admit, the accusation looks very credible, I would not be surprised at all if the committee comes back and says "she was doping, all results stripped". But until that time, this is THE most important moment of this girl's career, potentially her whole life. To tear it down because of outrage at the system, or to create media frenzy....is just despicable. If the committee does create a final ruling of doping, then at that point by all means have your circus. Rip into the coaches and her, make them the villain, because at that point they would have earned it. But not like this, it was really heartbreaking to watch. I hope the Scarlett Letter is still taught in schools today, because the lesson it teaches is more relevant today than ever.


Now the other thing I found interesting about figure skating in general, is how much the scoring has changed. Frankly the idea that a person could fall multiple times in a skate and still get 4th place was pretty surprising to me. In the old days, perfection was the name of the game. One fall and you were done, one slip and you were probably out of medal contention. While skating is much more physically demanding now, the cushion for mistakes seems much kinder than in decades past. Whether that is a good thing or not....not really sure.
 

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billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
The problem with your analysis is that the doping regime isn't a government bearing down on a lowly citizen. Our justice system's ideal doesn't apply. They may have an appeals process, but I don't think they have the presumption of innocence when there's a positive sample.

Plus, putting this in context, this is a case where the athlete comes from a system that is notorious for doping and has a coach notorious for abuse - all for the national Russian prestige of having another gold winning team/athlete (I won't even get into the issue of the international situation in Ukraine). She may be in the middle of it and may feel the pressure and that sucks, but I'm seeing a lot of outrage over her case directed at her coaches and system around her. And both of those targets absolutely deserve it.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I mostly disagree with this.

I'd start by saying that Valieva is a minor. She is not a villain. This is not her fault. She has been failed by the people around her.

That said, I disagree with how you characterized the events. This timeline(with comments) should help-

Dec 25 25 (2021)- the sample was taken at the Russian Championships. It couldn't be tested in Russia, because as we all know, Russia isn't allowed to test themselves. That's a thing. So the sample is sent for testing at a WADA-approved lab.
Jan 15- Valieva wins the 2022 European Championships.
Feb 7- Valieva wins gold, but WADA announces that the prior sample had an "adverse analytical finding."
Feb 8- The Russian anti-doping agency announces it received the drug test and provisionally suspended Valieva.
Feb 9- Shockingly, the Russian anti-doping agency CANCELED the suspension the next day. I know! I'm surprised too! This led to howls of outrage from the IOC, WADA, and the International Skating Union.

Now, let's understand a few very important things going on at this point- the first is that it's unheard of for an athlete to get a doping suspension cancelled the next day.
Next, if you test positive, you don't compete. Period.
Next, the onus is always on the athlete. Prove you are clean and there was an error. One thing you do is ask for the "B" sample to be tested (something the Valieva has yet to do).
Finally, and I don't mean to beat this drum, but it's the Russians. They have a very poor track record with doping recently. So having the Russian anti-doping agency cancel the suspension went over like you might think.

Now, all of this meant that it wasn't Valieva, but the governing bodies appealing ... to the CAS. After a rushed hearing, the CAS allowed her to compete. Which was a shocking decision for most people, and also didn't go to the underlying merits of the issues.

I think most of the athletes that were commenting found it questionable that she was allowed to continue in these circumstances.


Finally, I do think that all of this was unfair ... to her. I think that serious investigation needs to be done of that program and the people around her that led to this. I just doubt it will happen.



EDIT- I would add that I love the Winter Olympics. I have watched almost none of it this year. I've tried a few times ... but to put it in terms of Jordan Peele's upcoming movie .... NOPE.
 
Last edited:

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Again, I'll admit, the accusation looks very credible, I would not be surprised at all if the committee comes back and says "she was doping, all results stripped". But until that time, this is THE most important moment of this girl's career, potentially her whole life.

The individual is only a small part of the issue. And, arguably, not the most important one, because it speaks to the overall validity of Olympic and other competition, without which she'd not have a skating career.

The things you are not including are:
1) At the time, Russia could not even compete as a nation at the Olympics, due to prior doping issues.
2) Other athletes have been scrubbed from competition for equal or lesser issues.

She was given opportunity others have not been allowed, for no discernible reason. The choice to allow her to compete is, to my understanding, unprecedented. That is incredibly unfair to every clean athlete there, and every past athlete who was not given the chance she was.

Now, she's 15 years old, in the hands of folks we have reason to believe are less than ethical (see 1, above), and not known for... empathy and caring, shall we say. I can understand that folks might believe she can't be held responsible for her status.

It seems to me that if an athlete cannot be held responsible for their status, then they aren't really responsible for their win - and thus shouldn't be competing anyway.
 



jerryrice4949

Adventurer
So at least in the US, the big story was around Kamila Valieva, the Russian skating prodigy who had a doping test come back positive but was allowed to compete. This led to a wave of outrage, with the ending of young Kamila falling apart on her last skate, going from one of the highest scores of all time in the previous skate to her getting 4th place....not even a medal.

For me, I found the media coverage around the young star pretty revolting. It comes down to this: While America has a legal culture of "Innocent until Proven Guilty", we certainly don't act like it in media coverage. Kamila did have a positive test, which was reviewed by the International Doping Agency. She went through the appeals process, as is her right. Ultimately the body decided to allow her to skate while the investigation was ongoing, but with the possibility of her results getting striped should the final result be that she was engaged in doping. Ultimately the system was working the problem. We can disagree with that system, disagree with that ruling, etc.... but people ripped into Kamila as the villain. No innocence until proven guilty, she was guilty flat out. Even the commentators during her routine would say "she should not be on the ice right now". That is just disgusting to me, to see this young woman competing, and everyone ripping into her over an accusation that the system was handling.

Again, I'll admit, the accusation looks very credible, I would not be surprised at all if the committee comes back and says "she was doping, all results stripped". But until that time, this is THE most important moment of this girl's career, potentially her whole life. To tear it down because of outrage at the system, or to create media frenzy....is just despicable. If the committee does create a final ruling of doping, then at that point by all means have your circus. Rip into the coaches and her, make them the villain, because at that point they would have earned it. But not like this, it was really heartbreaking to watch. I hope the Scarlett Letter is still taught in schools today, because the lesson it teaches is more relevant today than ever.


Now the other thing I found interesting about figure skating in general, is how much the scoring has changed. Frankly the idea that a person could fall multiple times in a skate and still get 4th place was pretty surprising to me. In the old days, perfection was the name of the game. One fall and you were done, one slip and you were probably out of medal contention. While skating is much more physically demanding now, the cushion for mistakes seems much kinder than in decades past. Whether that is a good thing or not....not really sure.
I feel bad for the Kamila. She is a pawn for a country that will do anything to win including giving drugs to a child. A county that should not even be competing.

But I don’t believe she has been treated unfairly by the media and this is not a criminal court and she is not entitled to be considered innocent until proven guilty. In fact with the track record of her country it is probably safer to assume she is guilty. Either way she received unprecedented allowances and should never have been allowed to compete, though no one from the ROC should have been at the Olympics.
 

Canadian Snowboarder tests positive for weed (not exactly a "performance enhancing drug") and he's done.
Are you talking about Ross Rebagliati? His medal was restored by an appeals court two days after he was stripped of it. He's the men's giant slalom gold medal winner of the 1998 Winter Olympics.
 


Zardnaar

Legend
Sure would be nice if countries could get together and have the Olympics w/o the IOC.

Idk if anyone else would do any better being honest.

To get more or less everyone in the same tent you have to make compromises with crappy regimes. If you don't you get boycotts etc or you would have regional or "club" (eg commonwealth) type games.

That's before big money and pressure from government's get brought into it.

So if you had an "ideal" games you would probably have have the world not show up or run their own games somewhere.

Anyone sufficiently neutral eg Switzerland probably just as corruptable to money as the IoC.
 


Zardnaar

Legend
The Olympics should dump all events that are judged subjectively. And dump others that are too narrow in as far as people who play the sport. Like Curling.

Something like that. The ideal games probably a permanent location (avoids bribery scandals to get them and cist blowouts etc).

Probably in Greece as well they also need the money (vs the IoC).
 

@Snarf Zagyg has the right of it here. The CSA said she should be allowed to compete due to the mental strain it might put on her....
If you watched her epic breakdown AFTER she lost, I would say an upheld suspension would have been a more positive mental state for her to process.

Unlike Snarf I have watched this Olympics pretty much start to finish (excepting one day where life happened.) The ROC (Russian Olympic Committee) has pretty much been The Russian State Olympic Team. In prior Olympic and World Cup meets, they were individuals under the same flag. This Games has been different. Same old stuff in an all new package. Frankly, Russia IS back to its old CCCP self. Congrats Putin... :/
 

The Olympics should dump all events that are judged subjectively. And dump others that are too narrow in as far as people who play the sport. Like Curling.
Which is funny because Curling is the one sport that has expanded the Olympic games to athletes outside of the standard. Last Games there was a 61 yo athlete on the ice in Curling. Frankly I'd rather see the X-games crap removed.
 

éxypnos

Explorer
Which is funny because Curling is the one sport that has expanded the Olympic games to athletes outside of the standard. Last Games there was a 61 yo athlete on the ice in Curling. Frankly I'd rather see the X-games crap removed.
Yes, X-games should go too. Curling is played by almost no one despite what you wrote. Only 10 countries fielded teams.
 




Yes, but the rug was immediately pulled. No messing around. The IOC is inconsistent, to say the very least.
lol yes. An it was 2x BS because cannabis wasn't even a banned substance at the time. But in his case, the "system" worked and justice prevailed. Now, the whole enterprise is so thoroughly corrupt that people should stop watching it entirely.
 


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