Following the performance of Kamila Valieva in the short program at the Olympics, Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir did not hold back on their feelings about her being allowed to compete.
In December, Valieva tested positive for a banned substance. She was later allowed to compete by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, a decision that has led to international outcry.
Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir weigh in on Kamila Valiyeva's short program. pic.twitter.com/LdjY4LQOvv— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 16, 2022
Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir weigh in on Kamila Valiyeva's short program. pic.twitter.com/LdjY4LQOvv
“All I feel I can say is that was the short program of Kamila Valieva at the Olympics,” Weir, a two-time Olympian, said upon conclusion of Valieva’s skate.
Lipinski, who won Olympic gold at 15, reiterated that the fact that Valieva had a positive test meant “we should not have seen this skate.”
“I don’t know how many times over the past year I’ve said that she is the best figure skater I’ve ever seen,” she continued. “And just saying that now not only makes me confused but it makes me angry and again disoriented by everything that I thought that I knew.”
Weir also apologized to the other athletes competing for how it’s “overshadowing your Olympics.”
Others athletes have spoken out, including Olympian Adam Rippon, who is the coach of American Olympian Mariah Bell. Bell is in 11th following the short program. In a series of tweets, Rippon said that Valieva should be sent home and that the IOC’s ban on Russian athletes “was NOT strict enough.”
American track runner Sha’Carri Richardson has also spoken out, questioning the decision making. Richardson was left off of Team USA’s track & field team for the Tokyo Olympics after a positive marijuana test.
On Tuesday, Valieva took first in the women’s short program, despite a fall. Teammate Anna Scherbakova sits in second while Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto is in third.