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Clubbiness of IOC makes its awful handling of Valieva case even worse | Opinion

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  • The Russian Anti-Doping Agency blames WADA’s lab for holding up Valieva’s sample
  • WADA places the blame on RUSADA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport
  • IOC president Thomas Bach continued the finger pointing, saying ‘we did not want her to participate and we lost the court case’

BEIJING – Everybody is to blame so nobody is to blame.

It was impossible to watch Kamila Valieva’s implosion and not be utterly horrified, and International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach was rightfully harsh Friday in his reaction to it. Avoiding specific mention of coach Eteri Tutberidze, he condemned her complete lack of empathy for the 15-year-old and expressed concern that Valieva will continue to be in harm’s way after she leaves the Winter Games in Beijing.

But his distress, and that of the other powerbrokers in the Olympic movement, will only go so far. Anyone looking for Bach to issue an apology, or to offer concrete plans to ensure something this heinous never happens again, must be new here.

The IOC, the International Testing Agency, the World Anti-Doping Agency, the Court of Arbitration for Sport – it’s an impressive sounding collection of organizations meant to suggest transparency and accountability. In reality it’s an alphabet soup of incestuousness, designed with the sole purpose of providing cover for one another.

In Valieva’s case, it has worked to diabolic perfection.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency blames WADA’s lab. WADA blames RUSADA. And CAS. CAS blames WADA. The IOC, and Bach, blame CAS. All they have to do is continue pointing the finger at each other for another three days and they’ll have successfully kicked the can so far down the road that it’s no longer in sight and everyone will forget about it.

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Kamila Valieva of Russia in the women’s figure skating long program during the Beijing Olympics.

“We went to court. We did not want (her) to participate and we lost the court case,” Bach said, giving the verbal equivalent of a shrug. “We have to respect the rule of law because if we are not respecting it, if we are abandoning the rule of law, there is no international sports anymore. So we had to accept this.”

Never mind that a 15-year-old girl has been left to twist in the wind, being at the center of an international dumpster fire doing God knows what to her psyche.

This is not a flaw in the system, it’s the whole point of it.

Independent organizations in name only

The IOC needs the appearance of oversight so those with a stake in the movement – think the sponsors who write the checks with all those zeroes on them – can pretend it still has credibility. But the IOC has no interest in it in reality because it wants an out when things go wrong.

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Ruud van Nistelrooy makes next job decision as Man Utd plan coaching appointment

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That decision failed to pay off, however, with the Red Devils sacking Moyes after just 10 months in charge.

After the current West Ham boss came Van Gaal, who arrived with big things expected due to his past success at the likes of Barcelona and Ajax.

Giggs was hoping to get the Red Devils job himself, which was why he stayed, but both ended up leaving nearly six years ago.

When Jose Mourinho took over, he opted to maintain his close relationship with Rui Faria – who had previously worked under him at clubs such as Real Madrid and Chelsea.

Fair departed in the summer of 2018, though, with Michael Carrick then given a place on Mourinho’s bench.

Carrick stayed to work under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with the Norwegian also regularly picking up the thoughts of Phelan and Kieran McKenna throughout his spell in the dugout.

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