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Athlete spokesman: Valiyeva case “sad because there are only losers”

In the case of the 15-year-old figure skater Kamila Valiyeva, the German athletes’ representative Maximilian Klein defended the athlete and criticized the pressure to perform and win medals in top-class sport. “The case is sad because there are only losers. But it also makes you angry because it doesn’t surprise you,” the representative for international sports policy of the Athletes Germany association was quoted as saying by “Spiegel”. Both Russian doping and the exploitation of underage athletes in such sports are “nothing new,” said Klein.

Despite a positive doping test on December 25, 2021, Valiyeva is allowed to start in the Olympic figure skating singles. The International Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) rejected the appeals against the lifting of their provisional ban on Monday after an urgent procedure at the Winter Games in Beijing. One of the reasons given by the Cas was the age of the 15-year-old, who as a minor was a “protected person” under the code of the World Anti-Doping Agency. The banned heart drug trimetazidine was found in Valiyeva’s sample.

Klein said of gold favorite and European champion Valiyeva: “It is very unlikely that she is to blame. She is the victim of a system that gives everyone an incentive to produce medals under inhumane conditions.” The question arises “how many such cases it takes for something to change in competitive sport”.

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