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Double standard? Sha’Carri Richardson questions why Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva was not disqualified – IOC responds

David Ramos / Getty Images - Ashley Landis / Associated Press


Kamila Valieva, a 15-year-old Russian figure skater will be allowed to finish competing in the Olympic Winter Games. Valieva was temporarily suspended from the Beijing Games when she tested positive for the banned substance trimetazidine back in December.

She helped the Russian Olympic Committee win gold in the figure skating team event on February 8th. On February 9th, the news of her failed drug test was discovered. The International Olympic Committee (IOC), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Skating Union (ISU) challenged the decision issued by the RUSADA Disciplinary Anti-Doping Committee in which the provisional suspension imposed on Valieva was lifted, allowing her to continue her participation in the Olympic Winter Games.

Sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson questioned why Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva was allowed to continue competing at the Beijing Games amid a doping charge on Monday. Only months after a positive test for cannabis derailed Richardson’s own Olympic dreams.

Here is the press release by the CAS to announce the decision to decline imposing a provisional suspension on Valieva. Click here to view.

“Can we get a solid answer on the difference of her situation and mine?” Richardson wrote on Twitter on Monday. 

Sha’Carri Richardson was banned from competing in the Summer Games in July 2021, after she tested positive for marijuana. Richardson said she used legal marijuana in Oregon, to cope with emotional panic after her mother’s death.

Kamila Valieva tested positive for trimetazidine, a drug used to treat angina by increasing blood flow to the heart. The substance along with THC is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) because it can potentially enhance athletic performance.

The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee also criticized the decision to let Valieva compete, saying the decision allows Russia to disregard the rules. Past doping violations resulted in Russia being banned from Olympic competitions.

According to Sky Sports, IOC spokesperson Mark Adams disputed Richardson’s double standard claim during one of the organization’s press conferences.

“This case has not yet concluded and the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) have made that very clear. In fact as far as I know, the B sample hasn’t even been opened, so I think drawing conclusions like this at this stage is really inappropriate.”

The IOC also commented that the case of sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson is indeed different from that of Valieva.

“Every single case is very different. She (Richardson) tested positive on June 19th (2021), quite a way ahead of the Tokyo Games,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said. The Tokyo Olympics were delayed by a year due to the pandemic and started on July 23rd.

“Her results came in early order for USADA (US Anti-Doping Agency) to deal with the case on time, before the Games. Ms. Richardson accepted a one month period of ineligibility which began on June 28th.”

“I would suggest that there isn’t a great deal of similarity between the two cases,” he said.

Valieva continued competing in Beijing. According to The Bulwark, she fell twice on Thursday resulting in her not making it into the top three.