Why Are Russians on the Olympics if Russia Is Banned for Doping?

BEIJING — The determine skating competitors on the 2022 Beijing Olympics was thrown into turmoil on Friday with the revelation that Kamila Valieva, the 15-year-old star of the Russian crew and a favourite to win two golds, had examined optimistic for a banned substance throughout a contest earlier than the Video games.

Valieva helped Russia’s crew win the gold medal within the determine skating crew occasion on Monday. However Tuesday’s medal ceremony was postponed shortly earlier than it was to start after skating officers realized that Valieva had examined optimistic on Dec. 25 for trimetazidine, a coronary heart treatment that’s on the World Anti-Doping Company’s list of banned substances.

America completed second within the crew occasion, and Japan was third. However these groups, and the Russians, now might have to attend for an appeals course of — which is probably not resolved till lengthy after the Video games — to find out the ultimate order of end and to obtain their medals. An arbitration courtroom in Switzerland will resolve which nation ought to be named the winner of the occasion, and whether or not Valieva might be allowed to proceed competing.

Within the meantime, the revelations are elevating acquainted questions on Russia’s presence and participation at these Olympics. The nation is technically banned from the Video games and different international sports activities competitions on account of an earlier doping scandal, however particular person athletes have been allowed to compete beneath the banner of the Russian Olympic Committee.

In December 2019, the World Anti-Doping Company barred Russia from international sports competitions after concluding that it had orchestrated and run a sprawling and state-sponsored doping scheme on the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

The scheme had been lively for years heading into the 2014 Olympics earlier than considered one of its masterminds, Grigory Rodchenkov, the previous head of a Moscow doping laboratory, got here ahead in 2016 to reveal the main points.

The worldwide ban got here on the heels of recent revelations that 12 months of Russia’s failed makes an attempt to cowl up the sooner scandal, together with by means of the manipulation of test samples and efforts to block access to testing its knowledge.

The punishment, initially for four years, barred Russia from coming into groups in worldwide competitions and from bidding for or internet hosting them. The Russian flag and nationwide anthem had been not allowed at occasions, and a few Russian sports activities officers had been barred from attending them.

A provision in Russia’s ban allowed its athletes to compete, with particular permission and as so-called impartial athletes.

In follow, then, and to the dismay of rivals and others who had called for a blanket ban on athletes from Russia, the nation’s athletes can proceed to compete in main worldwide occasions so long as they’re confirmed to be clear by the federations that govern their particular person sports activities, and so long as they don’t achieve this beneath the banner of Russia.

In Beijing, as at the Tokyo Summer Olympics last year, that signifies that a whole bunch of Russian athletes, groups and coaches are participating. This month, it’s because the Russian Olympic Committee — a technical distinction that some criticize as meaningless.

Equally, whereas Russian officers are technically barred from attending the Olympics, the punishment included a provision that permits the pinnacle of state of a bunch nation to increase a particular invitation to a different head of state or authorities official. That allowed Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, to attend the opening ceremony of the 2022 Video games as a visitor of his Chinese language counterpart, Xi Jinping.

Such a change of coronary heart, no less than formally, appears unlikely. The I.O.C., led by its president, Thomas Bach, has adopted the customarily unpopular stance that particular person athletes shouldn’t be punished for the actions of others, even when the motion was a scientific doping scheme created and run by their nationwide sports activities federations — and even their authorities — seeking Olympic glory.

The Olympic spokesman Mark Adams summed up the group’s method throughout a information convention on Friday in Beijing.

“People are allowed to be tried individually,” he mentioned. “We wouldn’t attempt a complete class of individuals and chuck them out on the premise of that. We give folks the precise to be harmless till confirmed responsible.” Why Are Russians on the Olympics if Russia Is Banned for Doping?

Fry Electronics Team

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