GENERICO.ruSportIs there a "drain"? Tutberidze’s words about Valieva’s negligence are a gift for CAS

Is there a “drain”? Tutberidze’s words about Valieva’s negligence are a gift for CAS


Sports correspondent analyzes the statements of the Honored Coach of Russia Eteri Tutberidze in the YouTube show “Comment. Coach” on the doping case of Olympic team tournament champion Kamila Valieva and comes to the conclusion that they can cross out the figure skater’s future.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) can send an official telegram of gratitude to Eteri Tutberidze, Leonid Slutsky and all those who were involved in the fact that coach Valieva’s interview came out a week before the continuation of the hearings in the case of the Russian figure skater, if any of them from Lausanne are still reaching us . Absolutely publicly – there is also the US figure skating team, which has been whining for a long time about the secrecy of the process, respect must be expressed – a version is presented indicating the off-scale level of Kamila's negligence in the case of the discovery of a prohibited drug in her doping test.

Let us quote Eteri Georgievna’s words again – I will not say that the whole interview was published for their sake (although it is difficult to get rid of such a thought), but they are key in the entire conversation.

“Even when she was interrogated, I told her: Kamila, quickly tell me what you had on the day of the short program. She told me: some volunteer treated her to ice cream, some masseuse Chekmareva treated her to tea, someone else something else – then there's more. I say – seriously? And you ate ice cream there, drank tea? And all this happened? Kamila… She: “Well, I don’t know, I’m somehow there.” We teach and teach, but like this. I think she probably has more faith in no one. This is where she changed.”

Well, now CAS has until November 9 to calmly translate Eteri Georgievna’s statements, discuss them during the hearings, and then slap Valieva with the maximum possible period of disqualification. For if an athlete, no matter how old he is, a month and a half before the Olympic Games, walks around the ice arena, eats ice cream from the hands of a volunteer, drinks water given to her by a masseuse – for the comfort of the court, his last name is given, and also consumes all that ” something else” that “someone else” treats her to, and then his coach publicly talks about all this, then this is just a gift for the anti-doping services.

What can we say – if CAS accepts this version and uses it when making a verdict, then it would be a gift for so many involved in this story. The coaching staff and doctors, whose actions, according to the World Anti-Doping Code, are given special attention in case of positive tests of a “protected person” who may not be aware of responsibility for their actions, are not involved in this case at all. What, did you have to lead Kamil everywhere by the hand? No, this is unrealistic. The phrase “we teach, we teach” in the interview confirms that the athlete was informed that she should not take drinks or food from anyone, much less take them orally. So the successful sabotage, which was directly hinted at in the interview, is entirely Valieva’s fault.

And the main thing is that you can continue to defend the team gold of the Games. Because – and the honored coach of Russia talks about this in detail in an interview – there are a lot of reasons not to take him away.

“The athlete was clean at the European Championships, clean at the Olympics. If they had that analysis (from the Russian Championships), how was she allowed (to the Olympics)? That means they had to do anything to double check so that he was ready . They should not have allowed such an athlete into the Olympic village. My opinion: there should be no consideration of the team medal at all. Whose mistake is that this athlete participated in the team? Ours? No. Was the athlete clean at the Olympics? Yes. How did it end up ( at the Olympics)? Questions I don’t even know to whom: to WADA, to the laboratory. Then let them print a new medal, do whatever they want. It’s their fault. It’s not the team’s fault at all… Tell them about the results that they have there was doping at the Russian Championships on the second, third, fourth, fifth (February), Anya (Shcherbakova) and Sasha (Trusova) would have skated, and the team’s result would have been exactly the same. They would have won too,” says Tutberidze.

Let me add to this: there is also a gap in the crookedly written regulations of the Olympic team tournament, which does not stipulate what to do if one of the team members is disqualified due to a positive doping test. If we perceive these competitions as a biathlon relay race, then the entire team should be punished. If we draw an analogy with football, volleyball or basketball, then the result should remain in force, since less than two team members are disqualified. It's debatable what the Olympic figure skating team competition is more like. Apparently, CAS will deal with this in the next series of hearings, when a lawsuit will be filed against one or another decision of the International Skating Union (ISU), which, as the organizer of the competition, will have to make a verdict on whether to change the results. And there is no doubt that one party or another will file a lawsuit – because there is not a word in the rules about what needs to be done.

But there is one “but” in all this. With this development of events, Valieva will remain in the annals of sports as a violator of anti-doping rules. To put it bluntly, she is a doper. Let's leave aside the moral side of this stigma – perhaps Camila doesn't care about it. Besides, we don’t know whether she herself agrees with what the coach said about her. Unlike Tutberidze, Valieva does not give comments on the topic of the trial.

In addition, it may seem that Camila will come out relatively unscathed. The two-year disqualification for negligence – and this is the maximum that is due to the “protected person”, which was 15-year-old Valieva at the time of the positive doping test on December 25, 2021 – will expire in literally a month and a half, if the period is counted from this date. The cancellation of the figure skater’s personal results for this period is clearly not a tragedy of her life. Yes, it’s a pity for the gold medals of the Russian and European championships, and fourth place at the Beijing Olympics, which for her, the main contender for victory, was a failure at that moment – is unlikely. Well, then there were only domestic Russian starts, for which no one would obviously take away the prize money.

But here you have, for example, a situation in which the presence in the “history” of a punishment for a doping case can work against a figure skater. Let’s say the International Olympic Committee decides to allow Russian athletes to compete at the 2026 Games in Turin, but in a neutral status and with individual admission. So, it is quite likely that our athletes with a doping history will not receive Olympic accreditation – and without any explanation, as was the case at the previous Games, where the Russians competed in a neutral status. And Valieva continues her career clearly with the hope – albeit, given the current position of the IOC, rather illusory – of returning to the Olympics. If Kamila managed to maintain her jumping as she grew older – and so far she has, she would be the favorite.

Taking all this into account – but first just out of respect for Camila herself – it would be fair to point out that the version about her exceptional and unique wine in a positive sample looks like a rather clumsy attempt to transfer all the arrows to her. And here's why.

Let’s say that the referees, with all the naivety that is unlikely to be characteristic of lawyers who have gone through a hundred doping cases, will believe that a figure skater, who is constantly drilled into her head with the thesis that you cannot leave a plate unattended in the canteen, should drink water anywhere from an open bottle and taking such a bottle from someone else’s hands, completely forgets about all this and gratefully accepts everything that she was treated to at the St. Petersburg Yubileiny Sports Palace – ice cream, tea, “something else.” Like a somnambulist, she walked, took, drank and ate. Let's say they believed it.

After this, accordingly, the attacker’s sabotage version becomes working. But will it not occur to the judges that this does not fit with the fact that trimetazidine was found in Valieva’s body in an insignificant amount? In the first CAS document, published following the meeting of the visiting board at the Beijing Olympics, which admitted Kamila to the individual tournament, the wording generally appears – “below the detection threshold.” It sounds a little strange what this means, let chemists figure it out, but one thing is clear – this is a grain, if not a speck of dust, of a prohibited substance.

Now let's imagine ourselves in the place of the villain. At the Russian Championship, he plans an action to take Valieva out of the game – in this case, it doesn’t matter with what motive, whether to clear the way for a competitor or to use the incident as a provocation in the future – but at the same time he carries it out so carelessly and with such a chance of failure that for him It becomes a huge success to have at least some tiny amount of a prohibited drug in the athlete’s sample. Isn't it too complicated and risky a plan when, for the same purpose, it was possible to take a syringe and inject a more substantial dose of the “forbidden drug”?

Personally, it seems to me that the CAS arbitrators will think about all this. They will also remember other options in which doping could have entered Valieva’s body – and not even about grandfather’s glass. After that, it is far from certain that the verdict will be the one that the authors of the public version of the skater’s indiscriminate intake of food and water offered by her are hoping for. Which, by the way, has been circulating on the sidelines for quite some time. It flew into my ears in the summer. Which, I think, is as much a part of a far-reaching strategy as a number of other events surrounding the Valieva case – for example, the claim of the Russian team doctor Philipp Shvetsky against a German journalist.

Let's wait to see what they decide in Lausanne . So far there is only one question, perhaps somewhat emotional, but there is no escape from it. Is it decent to try to “leak” the best and most brilliant figure skater of our time like this?

The author’s opinion may not coincide with the position of the editors.


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