Beijing Olympics

The 2022 Beijing Olympics were surrounded by controversies, the most serious of which were the use of performance enhancement drugs and the quality of the snow.

On February 9, the women ‘s free skating award was delayed due to an athlete’s positive result to a doping test. The athlete was Kamila Valeryevna Valieva. According to the IOC (International Olympic Committee), the ISU (International Skating Union) announced that she used a banned substance called trimetazidine with two other non-banned substances. When these substances meet inside an athlete’s body, they increase endurance, reducing fatigue and promoting greater efficiency in using oxygen so that they can perform better.

The punishment given to Kamila Valieve created a controversy. She had tested positive on a drug test before the Olympics, but since she was a minor at the age of 15, she was classified as a protected person. This means her personal information is protected by law and so the press was not given the information concerning her failed drug test. That was how she was able to take part in the Olympics, even with a positive drug test result.

Before the Olympics, the IOC and WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) accused her of doping in the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport). The returning decree for Valieve was surprising. Since she is a minor, she could not be accused in the CAS and could take a role in the Olympics. She said the positive doping test was due to her using the same cup as her grandfather who takes medication for his heart disease. The press and public argue that she should be punished whether she doped on purpose or by negligence. On the other hand, the public believes that a minor can not easily obtain doping substances, but her coach or the ROC (Russian Olympic Committee) had helped her dope or had her dope purposely.

According to the athletes who finished their performances on ice or snow, they were in bad conditions. Beijing did not see enough snowfall for the Olympics and thus the Chinese decided to use 100% artificial snow. There are drawbacks to using this snow. Since it is made by high-pumped machines, they are harmful to the climate. Moreover, the artificial snow is icier and very hard, therefore, dangerous to athletes who need different types of snow for their performance. In alpine skiing, 49 athletes finished their races among 80 athletes. Many of the unfinished athletes had injuries and gave up the race. In terms of figure skating, since the Chinese Olympic Committee changed the rink used for short track into figure skating in a few hours, many figure skaters said the rink was not suitable for their performance and many of them fell.

I personally believe the Olympics did not go as well as the Chinese Olympic Committee expected. There were problems which included the food provided for the athletes, the quality of the stadiums, and most importantly, doping.

By Yoonoh Noh