Former U.S. olympic figure skater Adam Rippon said it was a “slap in the face” to clean athletes for Russian skater Kamila Valieva to be allowed to compete at the Beijing Games after testing positive for a banned substance, Reuters reported.
“This situation is super unfortunate and it’s also unprecedented that someone with a failed doping test is allowed to compete in the Games,” Rippon, who is in Beijing as a coach to U.S. skater Mariah Bell, told Reuters, noting how unfair it was to the other competitors.
Valieva, 15, tested positive for Trimetazidine (TMZ), a banned angina drug, but she was cleared to compete by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). TMZ increases blood flow to the heart and limits rapid swings in blood pressure, USA Today reported.
“It’s a complete slap in the face to every single athlete who comes here and competes clean,” Rippon told Reuters. He said that Valieva was the victim of “child abuse,” as her Olympic dream was corrupted by pumping her “up with drugs.”
Valieva tested positive for the drug in late December 2021, but her results were not revealed until Feb. 8, after she had already competed in a team event, Reuters reported. She placed first in the short program on Tuesday, though no medals will be awarded until a hearing for her doping charge is resolved, well after the Olympics conclude.
“Somebody on her team failed her miserably and now she is going through this whole circus and everyone else is suffering along with her,” Rippon said.
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