Travis Tygart, Director of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) answered questions about the case of Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva.
“Who is to blame for the fact that the athletes still have no medals? Valiyeva should not have been allowed to compete with an expected positive result, and there was ample time for her positive case to be reported and resolved before the Winter Olympics. This allowed the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) to handle her case first. The decision not to appeal directly to the Court of Arbitration for Sport again allowed the Russians to steal justice and drag out this relatively simple case for so long.
Unfortunately, we have no jurisdiction or authority in this situation because RUSADA and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) are involved, but we hope to always support clean athletes and advocate for fairness and justice for them. We have met with the organizations that are responsible and pushed them to make sure that the athletes finally get some semblance of justice for their hard work and sacrifice, and to do everything we can to make sure that this situation never happens again.
The presentation of medals to athletes should never have taken so long. It seems obvious that the Russians will stall for as long as possible, and as of today, we still do not know if WADA is going to appeal. We hope that WADA will appeal immediately and request a public and expedited hearing, which the rules allow, and that the athletes will finally get their rightful medals this summer,” USA TODAY quoted Tygart as saying.