Weir, Lipinski Express Outrage, Limit Commentary During Kamila Valieva’s Skateboard – NBC Chicago

Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski were uncharacteristically quiet during Russian Olympic Committee skater Kamila Valieva’s performance on Tuesday morning after announcers expressed outrage and disappointment that the 15-year-old was allowed to perform amid a doping scandal.

The only time they spoke during the performance was to note Valieva’s jumps.

“All I feel like I can say is that was Kamila Valieva’s short program at the Olympics,” Weir said after her practice.

“She had a positive test. We shouldn’t have seen that skate,” Lipinski said afterwards.

Weir apologized that the doping scandal “overshadows your Olympics”, but the pair expressed frustration and disappointment at the decision that allowed the teenager to continue skating while her future hangs in the balance.

Lipisnki said the decision “makes me angry and confused by everything I thought I knew.”

“It makes you question everything,” she said. “These skaters are giving their lives for this moment, to get to this place. Why?”

Weir said before Valieva’s performance that he was “uncomfortable” commenting on it.

“With all this news, I feel so uncomfortable as a skater and as a skating fan even to have to comment on her performance just because she shouldn’t be able to compete in this competition,” said he declared.

The Russian figure skater, who was cleared a day earlier to compete in the 2022 Winter Olympics despite failing a doping test ahead of the Games, holds the lead in Tuesday’s women’s short program with a score of 82 ,16. She broke down in tears on the ice at the end of her routine.

As one of the top 24 skaters in a field of 30, Valieva qualifies for the free skate final on Thursday at 4 a.m. If Valieva wins a medal in the event, there will be no podium ceremony by decision of the International Olympic Committee which has said it will wait for its doping case to be decided.

“It’s not just about skating or not skating,” Lipinski said. “It affects everyone at these Olympics to think there won’t be a medal ceremony in the women’s event if she’s on the podium. It’s another world for me. I can’t don’t even understand that. Imagine how it affects so many other skaters’ lives and their Olympic experiences.”

Weir called it “a slap in the face to all the other skaters in this event.”

Valieva tested positive for the heart drug trimetazidine on December 25 during the Russian championships. It was only after Valieva’s dominating performance in the team event that helped the Russian Olympic Committee win gold in Beijing that the results of a Swedish lab’s doping test came to light.

This led to the postponement of the medal ceremony for the team event, in which the United States won silver and Japan bronze.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport decided after a hearing on Monday that Valieva did not need to be provisionally suspended before a full investigation by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency that could take months to resolve. The court cited Valieva’s status as a minor or “protected person” and the “serious problems with untimely notification” of her positive test as factors in the favorable decision.

“The panel found that preventing the Athlete from competing at the Olympics would cause him irreparable harm in the circumstances,” CAS Director General Matthieu Reeb said.

Valieva’s lawyer, Denis Oswald, told the hearing that Valieva failed a doping test due to contamination from drugs her grandfather was taking.

The scandal grabbed Olympic headlines and drew all eyes to Valieva during Tuesday’s short program. Valieva, who in the team event landed the first quadruple jump by a woman at the Olympics, earned a technical score of 44.51 and a component score of 37.65 to secure a place in the final for the favorite for the gold medal.

The International Olympic Committee confirmed on Monday that the medal ceremony would be postponed if Valieva made it to the podium.

“In the interest of fairness for all athletes and (nations) concerned, it would not be appropriate to hold the medal ceremony for the figure skating team event during the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022,” the IOC said in a statement, “as would include an athlete who on the one hand has a positive A sample, but on the other hand an anti-doping rule violation has not yet been established.

The results of future investigations and subsequent appeals could lead to Valieva being stripped of her medals.

The IOC “will hold dignified medal ceremonies once Ms Valieva’s case has been concluded”.

Weir and Lipinski noted that the scandal is a “heartbreaking” place for a 15-year-old.

“You just hope that there are adults around her who will finally step in and help and guide her,” Lipinski said.

NBC Chicago

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