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[BEIJING OLYMPICS] Kim Yuna calls out unfairness in Valieva doping case

Kim Yuna (Yonhap)
Kim Yuna (Yonhap)
 




Retired Korean Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yuna on Monday voiced concerns about violations of anti-doping rules that undermine fairness in sport in an apparent criticism of the international sport body’s decision to allow a Russian skater to continue to compete at the Beijing Olympics despite failing a pre-game drug test.

“Athlete who violates doping cannot compete in the game. This principle must be observed without exception. All players’ efforts and dreams are equally precious,” read Kim’s Instagram post. The post garnered more than 220,000 likes as of Tuesday.

The 2010 Vancouver Games’ gold medalist and 2014 Sochi Games’ silver medalist, Kim is one of the most beloved sports stars in South Korea.

Her remark came after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that figure skater Kamila Valieva of the Russian Olympic Committee does not need to be provisionally suspended ahead of a full investigation, upholding an earlier decision by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency.

The green light came just days before the Russian athlete’s next event – the short program on Tuesday and the free skate program on Thursday.

For being under 16, the Russian skater is considered a “protected person” under the World Anti-Doping code. the sport’s top court said. It added that Valieva was tested positive for a banned substance on Dec. 25, not during the Winter Olympics, preventing her from competing would cause her “irreparable harm.”

On Monday, the International Olympic Committee said there will be no medal ceremony for Valieva even if she finishes in the top three during her event. “In the interest of fairness to all athletes and the National Olympic Committees concerned, it would not be appropriate to hold the medal ceremony,” the IOC said in its statement.

By Park Han-na (hnpark@heraldcorp.com)
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