The Russian figure skater who was allowed to compete versus the American sprinter who wasn’t.
By Madison Sciba
After recent news of a positive doping case at the Olympics, frustrated fans are bringing to light the fact that an African-American sprinter was unable to compete as the result of a positive drug test, yet a Russian figure skater was still allowed to compete despite also testing positive. So people are asking: what is the difference between the two cases? Is it because the Russian skater is white and the American sprinter is Black?
At the trials for the last summer Olympics, 21-year-old Sha’Carri Richardson won the women’s 100-meter dash, but after testing positive for cannabis she was given a 30-day suspension from competing. This suspension resulted in Richardson missing out on the Tokyo Olympics last summer. In December of 2021, Kamila Valieva, a 15-year-old Russian figure skater, tested positive for a heart medication, which is banned as a doping agent. Even after news of her positive result came to light, she was still allowed to skate in the Beijing Olympics.
While the two cases may be similar at first glance, there are severe differences that prove that there is more to these situations. Richardson’s case and punishment were dealt with by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, while Valieva’s case was dealt with by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA). The WADA recommended Valieva be suspended from the sport and barred from continuing to compete in the winter games, the RUSADA, however, has yet to comment on their findings and punishment over Valieva’s case.
Russia has already faced troubles over evidence of doping in Russian Olympians, resulting in them having to compete at the last few games as the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).
This brings another question: why is Russia still allowed to compete in national sporting events? The idea of having them compete as the ROC was supposed to be a punishment in hopes of a lesson against doping. Yet with this case of Valieva’s doping, Russia has proved that they will still dope their athletes. Why should they be allowed to cheat and get away with it? Russian athletes are still able to compete. Putin is still allowed to represent Russia at the games. Is Russia facing any actual punishment??
Source for image: npr.com
Melanie Moyer '22,