Olympics drug ruling damages court and games

While young female track and field athletes were banned from the 2021 Summer Olympics, or not allowed to compete in select events because of naturally occurring high testosterone levels and for using marijuana, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled Monday in favor of a Russian figure skater, allowing her to continue on in the 2022 Winter Olympics after she tested positive for a banned heart medication. The Court of Arbitration for Sport handles anti-doping cases and is the final stop for disputes relating to Olympic games. While seemingly ruling without consideration of circumstances on use of banned substances by track and field athletes, the court actually considered that “preventing the young (Russian) athlete from competing at the Olympic Games would cause her irreparable harm…”

Though I disagree with some of the suspensions that the Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld, I find it hard to understand how an athlete from a country that cannot compete under its own flag because of past sanctions for using banned substances is allowed to compete after proof that she used a banned substance. This is the type of decision that damages the reputation of the court and does harm to the games, while applying a backhand slap to every athlete that is competing the right way or those that have asked for leniency for using less harmful banned substances.

Update: Russian teen skater explains how she may have been exposed to grandfather’s heart medication.