Allowing Valieva to Participate in the Olympics Sends a Dangerous Message to Young People Worldwide
McKinney, Texas (Tuesday, February 15, 2022) – 15 year old Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva is being allowed to continue to compete in the Beijing Winter Olympics despite testing positive for a banned substance in December. Valieva is favored to win the women’s individual gold medal in this event. The Taylor Hooton Foundation (THF) objects to this decision and believes it sends dangerous messages to young athletes around the world:
“This is a slap in the face to those who have spent their entire lives investing their time, blood, sweat and tears preparing for these Olympics. This decision is not fair,” said Taylor Hooton Foundation President, Donald Hooton Jr.
“Doping is not just about fairness, it’s also about the health of the athlete. In particular, a 15-year old athlete! At what point does the health and safety of the athlete factor into this discussion?”
International Olympic Committee (IOC) Officials explained that they were allowing her to continue to participate because she is a minor. Isn’t this the wrong position to be taking? This may encourage other young people to try to get away with drug use in the hope that they will be excused because of their youth.
What about the adults who are obviously behind the scenes procuring these drugs for this 15-year old? What repercussions will they face? As adults, we all need to be focused on their health and well-being and not offering them drugs and helping them to cheat. The adults who are found to be behind this doping incident should be punished and held accountable for this offense.
The Valieva controversy has reignited doubts about the Olympic movement’s handling of Russian athletes competing on the world stage, but also the oversight of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and its working relationship with the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA).
The THF stands for living and competing without the use of Appearance and Performance Enhancing Substances. Doping—in any sport and on any level—should not be tolerated. Not only because it nullifies the purpose of sport, but also because athletes who choose to cheat in this way are setting a dangerous example for young athletes and those who look up to them as role models.
There are consequences for cheating, both in sport and in life. Playing a sport is a privilege, and if you cheat, that privilege can and should be taken away.About The Taylor Hooton Foundation The Taylor Hooton Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to educating North America’s young people about the dangers of anabolic steroids and other appearance and performance enhancing substances. The friends and family of Taylor Hooton formed the Foundation in 2004 after his untimely death at 17 years old following his use of anabolic steroids. For more information about the Taylor Hooton Foundation and its efforts, please visit www.taylorhooton.org and www.allmeleague.com. CONTACT: Rick Cerrone / Rick Cerrone Communications (914) 715-5491 / firstname.lastname@example.org