On 7 February 2014, the warmonger and mass murderer Vladimir Putin opened the Winter Olympics in Sochi together with his sporting comrade at the time, Thomas Bach, His Royal IOC Highness. According to well-documented research by Boris Nemtsov and Leonid Martinyuk, Russia's Winter Games cost $50 billion, a huge sum of which ended up in the pockets of oligarchs loyal to Putin and legions of state officials.
Opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, a son of Sochi, paid for these and other revelations and challenges to Putin's rule and authority with his life. Nemtsov was shot dead on 27 February 2015, one year after the Sochi Games, near the Kremlin on the Great Moskva Bridge in the centre of Moscow. He was slaughtered. Leonid Martinyuk was able to flee and escape the death-squad attack. He now lives and works as a journalist in the USA.
The Sochi Games – during which Vladimir Putin broke the Olympic Truce and prepared the annexation of Crimea, which was finalised in March 2014 – stand tall in the league of toxic Olympics. The IOC did not safeguard the integrity of the sports competition and, given that it would be another eight years before Putin was stripped of Olympic status and honour, it might even be said that the guardians of the Games appear not to have felt a need to do anything possible to guarantee it.
Sochi was and will forever be characterised by the gigantic Russian state doping system, with agents exchanging filthy urine for fresh samples through fake power points from the official laboratory to the hidden one that housed the HQ of clandestine fraud.
It took the Berlin Wall to hide the doping heist of the 20th century. This millennium, it only took a petition wall and an Olympic Movement incapable of keeping pace with rogues, then and now.
The victims, as ever, are clean athletes from all other nations, alongside the very young athletes who were and still are abused with banned substances by their own sports systems, in which the commander in chief is also the sports boss.
Whether by coincidence or design, could there, then, have been a better date for the publication of the Arbitral Award by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in the doping case of the underage Russian Kamila Valieva?
It's not just the Sochi anniversary we have to reminisce about. Today also happens to mark two years to the day since the Russian figure-skating team celebrated what they thought was going to be victory and a gold medal at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics ... until the news came through of Valieva's positive test and the IOC declared that no medals would be handed out to anyone.
That the Arbitral Award in full should be published at all comes as a mild surprise but, according to the CAS, the paper makes the public domain unabridged.
Which is how we learn that the then 15-year-old skater suggested three ways in which the banned substance trimetazidine (TMZ) came to be in her body, as discovered in A and B samples of Valieva's in-competition test samples provided during the Russian Figure Skating Championships in St Petersburg on Christmas Day 2021:
- First, ingestion via food prepared by or shared with Mr Solovyev.
- Second, via the contamination of one of the medications taken by the Athlete
before her competitions.
- Third, "sabotage" by "an intruder" by "planting/slipping a prohibited substance in the food or water" of the athlete.
It's the first one that the Russians settled on as the obvious explanation: a strawberry dessert. Mr. Solovyev is the skater's grandfather and it was "through the consumption of a strawberry dessert prepared by her grandfather on the chopping board where he used to crush his medication (pills) containing" TMZ.