James Gray Profile picture
Senior sports journalist at i (@iPaperSport / @TheiPaper). Email me at James.gray@inews.co.uk. Buy my book 👇
Feb 22, 2022 11 tweets 5 min read
I am now back from #Beijing2022 and have had a proper sleep so feel ready to reflect. It's been an experience not many people will ever have had or get the chance to have, so it feels worth devoting a little thread of conclusions to it.

🧵 1. Bubbles are hard

I have a whole new respect and sympathy for sports people who have been bubbling round the world. After 2+ weeks, the monotony of even things you liked at the beginning becomes extremely tough. It is as much about the loss of control as the situation itself.
Feb 18, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
Wow. Thomas Bach goes after the entourage of Kamila Valieva.

"She was received with such tremendous coldness. It was chilling."

#Beijing2022 #FigureSkating More from Thomas Bach on Eteri Tutberidze and co (although did not use her name, but clear who he was talking about).

"You could feel this chilling atmosphere, this distance."

Bach also mentions TV pictures of Trusova in distress and her comments afterwards.

Feb 14, 2022 6 tweets 3 min read
BREAKING: Kamila Valieva WILL compete tomorrow in the #figureskating after the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld her appeal against suspension.

She will be allowed to compete - but the overall case of her failed test will be investigated after the Games.

#Beijing2022 Full reasonings behind Kamila Valieva decision here:

Feb 11, 2022 9 tweets 4 min read
BREAKING: The International Testing Agency (ITA) have confirmed that a sample taken from Kamila Valieva, 15, on 25 December 2021, returned positive for banned substance trimetazidine.

#Beijing2022 According to ITA, Kamila Valieva was provisionally suspended from competition on 8 February, the day after Russia won gold in the team #figureskating.

The decision was challenged, and heard on Wednesday evening. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency accepted the appeal and lifted ban.
Feb 10, 2022 7 tweets 3 min read
IOC's Mark Adams quizzed on the Kamila Valieva drugs case.

"I'm not going to comment on all sorts of speculation that I have seen. We had a situation arise yesterday at short notice that has legal implications. I'm not going to comment because it wouldn't be appropriate." IOC's Mark Adams refuses even to comment on which body is handling this case.


Nov 17, 2021 7 tweets 2 min read

An International Olympic Committee spokesperson has told me the IOC are "encouraged by assurances that Peng Shuai is safe. We are touch with the International Tennis Federation who continue to monitor the situation.”

#WhereIsPengShuai I didn't expect much more or different, but it is a pretty weak statement and is almost exactly the same as the opening lines of the ATP statement.

I appreciate this is a delicate situation and there may be further back-channels conversations going on but still: weak.
Nov 17, 2021 5 tweets 1 min read
Fairly pessimistic interview by Roger Federer in the Swiss press today. Says he will not be at the Australian Open and that Wimbledon would be a surprise.

24heures.ch/federer-le-rev… Federer: "The truth is I would be surprised to play Wimbledon... and Australia does not even come into play. We knew before the operation that its nature would require a months-long break."
Nov 16, 2021 5 tweets 3 min read
It is now two weeks since Peng Shuai posted her allegations of sexual assault against Zhang Gaoli on social media.

They were quickly removed and she has not been heard from since. No reliable sources have been able to contact her.


inews.co.uk/sport/tennis/p… Her whereabouts are not currently known. There is growing concern for her status.

@hrw's China director though tells me all is not lost. Bodies outside China *can* have an impact. WTA and ATP statements must be the start, not the end.