William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

OLYMPIC MESS – OVERNIGHT:  A scandal has erupted at the otherwise dull Olympics.  A Russian figure skater, regarded by some as the greatest figure skater in history, is involved in an alleged cheating incident.  How sad.  From Fox:  The International Testing Agency confirmed Friday that Russian figure skating sensation Kamila Valieva tested positive for a banned substance prior to her gold medal-winning performance in the team event over the weekend, but an expedited court ruling will now determine if the young skater will be allowed to compete for gold in the individual event on Tuesday.  The ITA, established by the International Olympic Committee in 2018 because of the Russian doping scandal at Sochi, released a lengthy statement on Friday confirming that the 15-year-old skater tested positive for trimetazidine at the 2022 Russian Figure Skating Championships in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on Dec. 25.  "First, the ITA stresses that Ms. Kamila Valieva, a member of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) delegation in Beijing, is a minor and therefore a ‘Protected Person’ under the World Anti-Doping Code," the statement read. "Seeing that some in the media did not grant her the same protection and have reported widely on the basis of unofficial information following the postponement of the medal ceremony of the figure skating Team Event at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, the ITA acknowledges the necessity for official information due to heightened public interest."  According to the ITA, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency placed a provisional suspension on Valieva Tuesday, but she appealed the decision the following day and the committee ruled to lift the suspension that night, seemingly without explanation.  The ITA, on behalf of the IOC, immediately challenged the decision, calling for an appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the highest court in Olympic sports, before Valieva’s next event.  One question is whether she took this drug on her own, or was forced to by the Russian powers.  I hate to see talent on her level destroyed, but the rules on doping must be followed, not only at the Olympics, but throughout sports.

February 11, 2022