Adam Rippon says Russia’s Kamila Valieva should be sent home

Adam Rippon is the coach of Olympian Mariah Bell. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Adam Rippon, an Olympic bronze medalist and current coach of American Olympian Mariah Bell, took to Twitter on Monday to address the current scandal surrounding Russian skater Kamila Valieva.

Valieva was cleared to participate in the individual event despite testing positive for a banned substance in December. As part of its decision, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said that they didn’t want to cause Valieva “irreparable harm.”

“If they are truly worried about the irreparable harm, set her up with proper counseling to deal with the incredibly sad situation she finds herself in and SEND HER HOME,” he wrote. “The irreparable harm that will be done is to the entire Olympic Games. She shouldn’t be allowed to compete.

“Every other athlete in this competition is having their Olympic experience altered to accommodate an athlete with a FAILED test.”

Rippon then took it one step further and said that the entire Russian Olympic Committee should not be at the Olympics or allowed to compete and called the women’s event “a complete joke.”

“They’ve exploited a child for results and continue to cheat and suffer no consequences.”

The Russian name and flag have been banned from the Olympics since 2017. In 2020 they received a two-year ban from the World Anti-Doping Agency for its state-sponsored doping program. As a result, through Dec. 17, 2022, no athlete can represent Russia at the Olympics, Paralympics or World Championships.

The International Olympic Committee’s ruling was challenged by an appeal from several Russian athletes not linked to the scheme. As a result, those athletes are allowed to compete internationally as neutral competitors. The 2022 Beijing Olympics are the final Olympics in which Russian athletes will have to compete under the “ROC” name.

In earlier tweets, Rippon said that the IOC ban “was NOT strict enough.”

“I believe that the ROC athletes are doing what they’re told in an effort to please their coaches and federation,” he continued. “I blame those in charge.

“They put [Valieva’s] sport performance ahead of her health and well-being… They’ve ruined this Olympic experience for HER and for EVERYONE here.”

Following Tuesday’s short program, Rippon said he is “so proud” of Bell “for dealing with this bizarre event with grace.”

Following the short program, Valieva leads the contingent of Russian skaters who received the three highest scores.

“For me, the Japanese women were the very best tonight,” he wrote. “Thank you for being a light in an event that has a dark cloud hanging over it.”