Olympics-'Ban the adults': reaction to Russian teen skater Valieva's drug case

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BEIJING, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Following are reactions to the case of Russia's 15-year-old figure skater Kamila Valieva, who was found to have failed a test for a banned substance before winning a team gold at the Beijing Olympics. read more

KATARINA WITT, GERMAN SKATING GREAT

"What they knowingly did to her, if true, cannot be surpassed in inhumanity and makes my athlete's heart cry infinitely.

"Kamila Valieva is a young girl and child prodigy, whose highly difficult performances and grace enchanted the whole world at only 15, a minor, depending on adults and she is not to blame here.

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"In this case she probably followed her coach and medical team. It is a shame, and the responsible adults should be banned from the sport forever!!!"

ROB KOEHLER, EX-DEPUTY HEAD OF WORLD ANTI-DOPING AGENCY (WADA)

"There are three organizations to blame for Kamila Valieva's positive test: the World Anti-Doping Agency, the International Olympic Committee, and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

"By not banning Russia for four years, there was no need or desire for cultural change by Russian authorities... By allowing Russia a free pass these organizations have severely let down every single athlete in Russia because it’s business as usual.

"Athletes in Russia deserved a cultural change, they deserved the right to have the opportunity to compete clean, instead WADA, IOC and CAS favoured the power and influence of Russian sport over clean sport.

"Today is another sad day for clean and ethical sport."

RUSSIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE (ROC)

"K. Valieva currently has the right to train and compete to the fullest extent without restrictions unless the Court of Arbitration for Sport rules differently regarding her status in relation to the Olympic Games.

"The Russian Olympic Committee shall take comprehensive measures in order to protect the rights and interests of the members of the ROC Team and to preserve the honestly won Olympic gold medal."

ROC PRESIDENT STANISLAV POZDNYAKOV

"I have serious questions about the dates that passed between December 25, when the sample was taken in St. Petersburg and February 8, when it was made public.

"In accordance with international standards for laboratories of the World Anti-Doping Agency, the time limit for loading sample A is 20 days from the date of receipt of the sample in the laboratory.

"It looks very strange that the sample travelled from St. Petersburg to Stockholm for almost a month. This raises very serious questions for me, and it is very likely that someone held this sample until the end of the team figure skaters competition."

MARK ADAMS, INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE SPOKESPERSON

"We hope the issue can be expedited in the interest of every athlete, not just the Russian.

"We have 100 percent policy against doping and clearly we will pursue all doping cases till the end."

JEAN-PIERRE VERDY, EX-TESTING DIRECTOR AT FRENCH ANTI-DOPING AGENCY (AFLD)

"Between a sample's delivery time, added to the analysis time and re-analysis time to confirm the presence of a specific substance, and the fact that you have to send the screenings to several labs to get external confirmation - and some labs don't have that kind of experience - the delays can be long.

"So unless it's a classic substance, a lab never gets a result out without the opinion of some of their peers."

INTERNATIONAL SKATING UNION (ISU)

"The ISU will exercise its right to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) the decision of the RUSADA Disciplinary Anti Doping Committee of February 9 to lift the provisional suspension and to ask CAS to reinstate the provisional suspension.

KATE HARTMAN, UNITED STATES OLYMPIC & PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE SPOKESPERSON

"For us, this is less about medals and more about protecting the sanctity of fair and clean sport and holding those accountable that don't uphold the Olympic values."

CANADIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE

"It's important that a fair process unfolds and the integrity of sport is protected.

"Our hope is that this is resolved quickly and the medallists get the medal moment they've earned here in Beijing."

DAVID HOWMAN, EX-HEAD OF WORLD ANTI-DOPING AGENCY (WADA)

"If the sample was taken... before the Games, why didn't (Russian anti-doping agency) RUSADA push the Swedish lab to get the results?

"The other responsibility is with WADA. They knew what samples would have been taken and needed to be analysed.

"And thirdly, the International Skating Union (ISU) would have known the samples that would have been collected.

"All three parties would have had access to the ADAMS (Anti-Doping Administration & Management System) systems, which tells you where and when samples were collected. Those are the questions that now need answering."

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Reporting by Krystal Hu, Amy Tennery, Karolos Grohmann and Julien Pretot, Compiled by Manasi Pathak, Editing by Michael Perry, Ken Ferris and Andrew Cawthorne

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