Olympics, Sports, Banned Substances, and Opinion
The Olympics should require competing athletes to be adults
The Russian sports system tarnishes the Olympic sheen again
Kamila Valieva of the Russian Olympic Committee made history on the ice rink in Beijing. She became the first woman to complete a quadruple jump in an Olympic competition. Actually, the 15-year-old became the first girl to perform the feat.
Valieva powered the Russian team to gold in the figure skating team event at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Or so it seemed. Soon after, the International Testing Agency (ITA) said she had tested positive for trimetazidine, a banned substance. As a result, the IOC has suspended the medal awards ceremony.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) reported that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency collected a sample from Valieva on December 25, 2021. A WADA-accredited laboratory in Stockholm, Sweden, analyzed the sample. On February 7, 2022, the lab reported the trimetazidine finding. The public still does not know who is responsible for the delay or why.
The Russian Olympic Team and Banned Substances
The Russian Olympic program is no stranger to banned performance-enhancing drugs. In 2016, WADA confirmed allegations that the Russian Olympic team participated in a state-sponsored doping program from at least late 2011 through 2015. Some doped Russian athletes had competed in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. As a result, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) stripped thirteen medals from Russian athletes in 2017. Nine were later reinstated.
The IOC allowed Russians to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics (held in 2021) and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. But the Russian team is called ROC (for Russian Olympic Committee). It cannot use the name “Russia” (except on uniforms), the Russian flag, or the Russian anthem. And athletes must present themselves as “Neutral Athlete” and the team as “Neutral Team.”
Olympic Participation Age Requirements
Athletes across the sports world have misused prohibited performance-enhancing drugs to gain unfair advantages…