Russian Figure Skater tests positive for drugs - delays ceremony for team medals

Primorskaya

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OK. Post Olympics come ISU/Federation meetings - with all the proposals for minimum ages, revisions of the judging system, etc.

I'm thinking it's time for more sweeping changes. Figure skating has never fit with ISU. I read here it was in the '80s the last time a figure skating executive was head of ISU. I propose ISU revise their charter to drop figure skating from their purview. This would allow some group of federations to form a new governing body.

The new federation would have stiff penalties for cheating/doping - particularly, where governments are involved. Russia would not be invited into this federation. It must be accepted that Russia's philosophy is win-at-any-cost. They will work around whatever federation policies are in place to carry out this philosophy. This last example, involving Valieva, proves the point. Russia doped a minor, required special handling of blood samples, and likely interfered with timely reporting. We must face facts that figure skating in the ISU is a family with a drug addict, Russia, refusing treatment.

Aside from whatever extra costs ISU incurs, the repeated undermining by a member federation has depressed athletes, fans and other compliant federations. The worlds this year were a breath of fresh air without Russia and the suspicion their participation invariably brings.

Russia is free to form it's own multi-federation governing body. There are other federations with athletes born and training in Russia. Perhaps they could be members.

Can a system of 2 federations work? There have been others sports with more than one governing body - boxing, for example. Will excluding Russia negatively impact already poor relation between it and other countries? Ignoring Russia's cheating, doping, manipulation doesn't improve it.
Totally agree that FS needs to be separated and have its own governing body. Having more than one federation...I've no idea what that would do, for instance judge accreditation would be a headache (vetted and approved by one ruling body but not the other etc) but maybe general geopolitical events will make that a moot point.
The elephant in the room has to be addressed though. It's not fair for all other athletes and national federations to be functioning under a cloud of suspicion and the certainty that their best efforts will go unrewarded. Maybe the moment should be seized.
 

alj5

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So what I’d like to see happen is:
1. Valieva to be stripped of her Euro and team Olympic titles.

2. Full investigation of Team Tutberidze.

3. Permanent ban of Team Tutberidze staff found to be involved in medicating these children.

4. Testing of B samples of Tutberidze students if possible (it’s how they eventually caught Lance Armstrong).

5. All other titles/medals remain in place
 

Debbie S

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So what I’d like to see happen is:
1. Valieva to be stripped of her Euro and team Olympic titles.

2. Full investigation of Team Tutberidze.

3. Permanent ban of Team Tutberidze staff found to be involved in medicating these children.

4. Testing of B samples of Tutberidze students if possible (it’s how they eventually caught Lance Armstrong).

5. All other titles/medals remain in place
Agree with these except 5....if Valieva ban is through Euros and Olys, then Russia should be stripped of the team gold. That's what would happen in other Oly team events that rely on individual performances (ex: track/athletics and swimming relays).

But I'm sure if the case is ever resolved, Valieva will get the minimum penalty (I think it's warning) and Team Eteri will get a slap on the wrist, nothing more.
 

Perky Shae Lynn

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So what I’d like to see happen is:
1. Valieva to be stripped of her Euro and team Olympic titles.

2. Full investigation of Team Tutberidze.

3. Permanent ban of Team Tutberidze staff found to be involved in medicating these children.

4. Testing of B samples of Tutberidze students if possible (it’s how they eventually caught Lance Armstrong).

5. All other titles/medals remain in place
If there is anything unclean going on with the entire team, I can't imagine how they keep their other titles, at least this year.
 

Frau Muller

From Puerto Rico…With Love!
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If there is anything unclean going on with the entire team, I can't imagine how they keep their other titles, at least this year.

See, that’s the thing. How far back is it fair to go? If Team Tutberidze is proven to have doped regularly and systemically, why should, say, Zagitova and Medvedeva be allowed to keep their Olympic medals/titles from 2018? Or is there a statute of limitations?

I’ve been reading such thoughts throughout Twitter, by the way. I’m just repeating what I’ve been reading. Lots of anger out there…not just by Fran the Italian blogger but along those lines.
 

Karen-W

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See, that’s the thing. How far back is it fair to go? If Team Tutberidze is proven to have doped regularly and systemically, why should, say, Zagitova and Medvedeva be allowed to keep their Olympic medals/titles from 2018? Or is there a statute of limitations?

I’ve been reading such thoughts throughout Twitter, by the way. I’m just repeating what I’ve been reading. Lots of anger out there…not just by Fran the Italian blogger but along those lines.
And what about Tarasova/Morozov? They finally got their act together at Euros and the Olympics. What if that was aided by better recovery times that allowed for additional training, a la Valieva's drug cocktail? Everything about Team Tutberidze and the remarkable, perfectly timed emergence of a consistent Tarasova/Morozov has left me wondering...
 

barbk

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I meant -
If the alleged long-time systemic doping/harassment/manipulation/meddling, etc. ends up being proven to be correct (in all camps, not just Eteri & co.), then what would make FSUers & all non-Russian fans happy? What should the ISU do to right all of these alleged wrongs?

Just get it out there for once and for all.
Sports with endemic doping have been provisionally dropped from the 2028 Olympics (weightlifting and boxing) -- but that wasn't one country.
See, that’s the thing. How far back is it fair to go? If Team Tutberidze is proven to have doped regularly and systemically, why should, say, Zagitova and Medvedeva be allowed to keep their Olympic medals/titles from 2018? Or is there a statute of limitations?

I’ve been reading such thoughts throughout Twitter, by the way. I’m just repeating what I’ve been reading. Lots of anger out there…not just by Fran the Italian blogger but along those lines.
Well, look at East German swim doping and Chinese gymnastics age manipulation - they didn't go back all that far. Shirley Babashoff never got the gold medals she really earned even though the East German doping was clearly proved after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Did Lance Armstrong (or any of the other dozens of cyclists who were dopers) lose all their titles? (And, if we're thinking of a sport that should be eliminated from the Olympics for systemic drug violations, we should definitely add cycling to that list.)

Personally, I'm not convinced that Russia has engaged in systemic doping of skaters. I think it more likely that Eteri's group has done so, but that's suspicion, not evidence. So, perhaps that group should be banned. Ditto for the US track doping squads.

Knock a whole nation out of figure skating competition even if one group is shown to systemically dope? Yeah, I'm not going there. I could be ok with knocking out Russia from international competitions (all sports) for a year for repeatedly fudging/failing a real anti-doping program and then allowing them back in the second year with only one athlete per event and no team/relay events. It may be the only way to knock some sense into them.

While we're at it, I don't see any good reason why internationally competing athletes should have drugging penalties for domestic competitions assessed by their own national governing bodies. It would be a lot fairer to have the international governing body handle it.
 

alexikeguchi

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953
Yep. Silver and bronze. Couldn't do anything different until the Valieva issue is resolved.

I say strip them of the gold just for dragging their feet. They've proven over and over they are going to do nothing but cheat and lie.
My preferred solution since I do expect Russia to resolve this exactly never is award USA the gold, Japan silver, and Canada bronze. Let the Russians appeal to CAS if they object, and they can be the ones to wait indefinitely for a resolution.
My guess is that Russia will paper over Kamila's drug violation with some minor 30-day suspension and try to keep the team medal.
Exactly. That's why the IOC/ISU decision shouldn't hinge on Russia's internal process.
 

alj5

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Agree with these except 5....if Valieva ban is through Euros and Olys, then Russia should be stripped of the team gold. That's what would happen in other Oly team events that rely on individual performances (ex: track/athletics and swimming relays).

Sorry, that was silently implied. When I meant all others, I meant don’t take away Medvedeva, Zagitova, etc unless they also have a retrospectively found banned substance.
 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
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Can a system of 2 federations work?
Only one federation will be recognized by the IOC. So you can have as many federations as you want but only one will be seen as the one that counts by most people.

And what about Tarasova/Morozov? They finally got their act together at Euros and the Olympics. What if that was aided by better recovery times that allowed for additional training, a la Valieva's drug cocktail? Everything about Team Tutberidze and the remarkable, perfectly timed emergence of a consistent Tarasova/Morozov has left me wondering...
I have been wondering the same about Morisi. I hate to think this because I like him. Unfortunately, unless it is proven definitely that Valieva was doping on her own, there will always be suspicions about Team Tuberidze athletes. And if it turns out that Team Tuberidze is the one doing the doping, then that suspicion will be even greater.

Personally, I'm not convinced that Russia has engaged in systemic doping of skaters. I think it more likely that Eteri's group has done so, but that's suspicion, not evidence. So, perhaps that group should be banned. Ditto for the US track doping squads.
I suspect that one or more skating schools have done so. This situation is more like it is in the US and other countries where some groups are clean and some aren't. If that is the case, I don't support a total ban of Russian skaters. We would have to ban all athletes from all countries in all sports where even one training group was found to be doping if we do that. And that isn't fair to the athletes that are competing clean.

My preferred solution since I do expect Russia to resolve this exactly never is award USA the gold, Japan silver, and Canada bronze. Let the Russians appeal to CAS if they object, and they can be the ones to wait indefinitely for a resolution.
CAS won't drag their feet and I doubt they'd uphold this.

If RSFS/RUSDA is smart, they will ban Valieva for enough time that it covers Euros, but not the Olympics. She would lose her Euros title but Russia would get their team Gold. I don't think CAS would overturn that decision if the ISU and/or IOC were to challenge it and I think they'd be less likely to challenge it.

If Valieva gets no suspension at all, I do think there will be pressure for other groups to challenge that decision.
 

Perky Shae Lynn

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See, that’s the thing. How far back is it fair to go? If Team Tutberidze is proven to have doped regularly and systemically, why should, say, Zagitova and Medvedeva be allowed to keep their Olympic medals/titles from 2018? Or is there a statute of limitations?
You are 100% right. I am thinking more in terms of Russian team medal, but honestly I just don't know anymore. It's all too ugly. And it's not just the Russians. My niece in a non-Eastern European country was just diagnosed with anorexia after years of being told by her very Western coach that she was too big for her sport. Deuretics, food & water intake restrictions, verbal abuse - all fair game. She is a high level athlete. My kids have been very lucky that they are not quiet good enough to experience any of this crap.
 

alexikeguchi

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CAS won't drag their feet and I doubt they'd uphold this.

If RSFS/RUSDA is smart, they will ban Valieva for enough time that it covers Euros, but not the Olympics. She would lose her Euros title but Russia would get their team Gold. I don't think CAS would overturn that decision if the ISU and/or IOC were to challenge it and I think they'd be less likely to challenge it.

If Valieva gets no suspension at all, I do think there will be pressure for other groups to challenge that decision.
I don't argue that would be the likely outcome at CAS, rather that it would just be satisfying for the offending party to be the one to jump through hoops for once. Plus it might light a fire under the Russians to adjudicate the suspension on their end rather than drag their feet indefinitely.
 

her grace

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Personally, I'm not convinced that Russia has engaged in systemic doping of skaters. I think it more likely that Eteri's group has done so, but that's suspicion, not evidence. So, perhaps that group should be banned. Ditto for the US track doping squads.
I don't know if they are or not, but there's several different camps that have been implicated at one point or another in the recent past
  • Larionov in pairs (positive drug test)
  • Sotnikova (scratches on drug sample container, investigated, outcome in favor of skater)
  • Stolbova & Bukin (something amiss in their process, not allowed to compete in Pyongchang)
  • Sotskova (positive drug test post-unofficial retirement)
  • Bobrova (positive drug test for recently banned meldonium)
  • Valieva (positive drug test)
That's 3 out of the 4 disciplines from several different coaching camps. Now maybe it can all be explained away, or they're each isolated instances. Or it could be a lot of smoke, indicating that there's a fire.
 

Karen-W

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I don't know if they are or not, but there's several different camps that have been implicated at one point or another in the recent past
  • Larionov in pairs (positive drug test)
  • Sotnikova (scratches on drug sample container, investigated, outcome in favor of skater)
  • Stolbova & Bukin (something amiss in their process, not allowed to compete in Pyongchang)
  • Sotskova (positive drug test post-unofficial retirement)
  • Bobrova (positive drug test for recently banned meldonium)
  • Valieva (positive drug test)
That's 3 out of the 4 disciplines from several different coaching camps. Now maybe it can all be explained away, or they're each isolated instances. Or it could be a lot of smoke, indicating that there's a fire.
Not to mention the Zhulin quote right after the Olympics where he said every single coach was worried it was their skater when they heard a Russian skater had a positive doping test. Smoky conditions, indeed.
 

mtnskater

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And are people already forgetting that Russia was found to have State sponsored systematic doping of its athletes including blatantly passing clean samples swapped out with dirty samples through a pass through in the lab in Sochi??? And this is why it has not been able to compete as Russia in the last several Olympic Games. Can’t figure out why anyone thinks the doping of figure skaters would be solely in Eteri’s group and everyone else suddenly reformed. And have people forgotten how important winning in sports is to Putin and his image, power and support of the Russian people? Wake up and smell the coffee!!
 

Willin

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@mtnskater And that Eteri herself mourned the banning of Maldonium because she'd need to find something new to give her skaters to "help with fatigue." Or that Polina Edmunds and her mom saw Russian skaters take something unidentified but given by a team doctor at a JGPF right before practice ice started (Note the skaters at that JGPF came from several different Russian schools).

If you don't think that doping is widespread in Russian sports, you're kidding yourself.
 

Bigbird

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Exhibit A: the relatively sluggish performanve of Valieva. The jump content is reduced and the skating is more forced and not as attractive. It makes no sense to even comment, whether it's Meldonium or some other drug, the objective is to win at all costs.
No wonder Gabby Pap commented on feeling less stressed without the ROC at Worlds. I'll repeat it again, it is a shame that it took war to do the obvious. This should have been done years ago.
 

caseyedwards

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@mtnskater And that Eteri herself mourned the banning of Maldonium because she'd need to find something new to give her skaters to "help with fatigue." Or that Polina Edmunds and her mom saw Russian skaters take something unidentified but given by a team doctor at a JGPF right before practice ice started (Note the skaters at that JGPF came from several different Russian schools).

If you don't think that doping is widespread in Russian sports, you're kidding yourself.
This is not evidence of doping but of taking pills which if you don’t think all athletes do you are naive!
 

Bouffantrex

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This is not evidence of doping but of taking pills which if you don’t think all athletes do you are naive!
Bless your heart. Not "all athletes" are not taking trimetazidine, dear. It requires only the most basic of deduction abilities to realize where the epicenter of state-sponsored doping is located.

Eteri had an anesthesiologist (who has been banned from rowing for doping!) in her Olympics entourage, for crying out loud. They weren't even trying to hide it!
 
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coppertop1

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At this point, Russia should be banned free the Olympics for at least 2024 and 2026. How can anybody trust then? And why should we trust them? They'll even go as far as to use a 15-year-old to exploit a loophole. How many chances are they going to get? Enough is enough.

Just imagine being an Olympian who has trained your entire life to much the Olympics, and knowing there's a country who is at the Olympics that has state-sponsored doping. It must be incredibly frustrating.

Russia definitely wasn't missed at Worlds. And no, figure skating isn't going to suffer better Russia isn't there. They women's event was better because of it. Quality was being rewarded.
 

GarrAargHrumph

I can kill you with my brain
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See, that’s the thing. How far back is it fair to go? If Team Tutberidze is proven to have doped regularly and systemically, why should, say, Zagitova and Medvedeva be allowed to keep their Olympic medals/titles from 2018? Or is there a statute of limitations?

I’ve been reading such thoughts throughout Twitter, by the way. I’m just repeating what I’ve been reading. Lots of anger out there…not just by Fran the Italian blogger but along those lines.

Strictly in terms of testing, under WADA, urine samples can be retested up to 10 years later. When they retest, they use the latest technology, which has meant that medals have been removed from athletes years later for doping that can be detected now, but couldn't be detected then.

So perhaps 10 years would have some precedent?
 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
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Exhibit A: the relatively sluggish performanve of Valieva. The jump content is reduced and the skating is more forced and not as attractive. It makes no sense to even comment, whether it's Meldonium or some other drug, the objective is to win at all costs.
That is not how doping works, at least not the kind she was doing. She's not going to suddenly lose jumps and speed if she's not taking trimetazidine right now. This is a drug that you take during hard training to help you train more. It's not something you take all the time. You are assuming she not taking it anymore, as well, which I would not assume.
 

canbelto

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At this point, Russia should be banned free the Olympics for at least 2024 and 2026. How can anybody trust then? And why should we trust them? They'll even go as far as to use a 15-year-old to exploit a loophole. How many chances are they going to get? Enough is enough.

Just imagine being an Olympian who has trained your entire life to much the Olympics, and knowing there's a country who is at the Olympics that has state-sponsored doping. It must be incredibly frustrating.

Russia definitely wasn't missed at Worlds. And no, figure skating isn't going to suffer better Russia isn't there. They women's event was better because of it. Quality was being rewarded.

Not disagreeing with a lot of what you say, but ...
It takes a special kind of fool to believe that only Russian skaters are doping.
 

Bigbird

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Not disagreeing with a lot of what you say, but ...
It takes a special kind of fool to believe that only Russian skaters are doping.
This is true. They are the only ones clumsy enough to get caught. Just got a bit too greedy with the dose. But either way, if you're caught, deal with it rather than gaslighting an entire community.
 

Bigbird

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That is not how doping works, at least not the kind she was doing. She's not going to suddenly lose jumps and speed if she's not taking trimetazidine right now. This is a drug that you take during hard training to help you train more. It's not something you take all the time. You are assuming she not taking it anymore, as well, which I would not assume.
Hmmm. Who knows. But it's been like watching Marion Jones pre and post doping conviction.
 

coppertop1

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Not disagreeing with a lot of what you say, but ...
It takes a special kind of fool to believe that only Russian skaters are doping.
If anyone believes that, I have a bridge to sell them.

This is true. They are the only ones clumsy enough to get caught. Just got a bit too greedy with the dose. But either way, if you're caught, deal with it rather than gaslighting an entire community.
I think this is the biggest issue with Russia. It's constantly lie, deny, deflect. There's no accountability. They're not willing to challenge their ways.
 
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karmena

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If anyone believes that, I have a bridge to sell them.


I think this is the biggest issue with Russia. It's constantly lie, deny, deflect. There's no accountability. They're not willing to challenge their ways.
....neither they ever will be. Soviet spirit does not die so quickly, it does not die on instance. It is implanted in people's mind with mother's milk during soviet era and it lives there.
 
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