Winter Olympics: Kamila Valieva misses out on podium but Russia still win gold


15-year-old Kamila Valieva misses out on podium after horror routine but Russia still win gold

The teenager appeared inconsolable after finishing fourth (Pictures: Getty)

Russian 15-year-old Kamila Valieva, who was allowed to compete despite failing a drugs test, only finished fourth in the women’s individual figure skating at the Winter Olympics, with the medal ceremony reinstated as a result.

The teenager went into Thursday’s free skate at the top of the leaderboard despite messing up a triple axel jump in the short programme on Tuesday, with Valieva fighting back tears at the end of her routine following an ‘emotionally tiring’ week.

Valieva was provisionally suspended after testing positive for banned angina drug trimetazidine, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that she should be allowed to compete.

Kamila Valieva of Team ROC falls during the Women Single Skating Free Skating

Valieva took several tumbles during Thursday’s free skate (Picture: Getty)

She was the last of the 25 skaters to perform at Beijing’s Capital Indoor Stadium on Thursday, with an extra competitor having been added to the final in the event that Valieva won a medal and would need to be later stripped of it.

The Russian appeared to have the weight of the world on her shoulders and did not skate to her usual high standards, falling twice, and she left the rink in tears after her routine as she posted a score well below her personal best.

It was not even enough for a place on the podium despite Valieva having had a significant lead going into the free skate, with compatriots Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova finishing in first and second respectively ahead of Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto, who finished third.

The International Olympic Committee had intended to scrap the medal ceremony if Valieva finished in the top three, but her fourth-place finish means Shcherbakova, Trusova and Sakamoto will all receive their medals as originally planned – though the Russia, USA and Japan mixed teams are still being made to wait in the team event.

Valieva broke down in tears when her score was revealed (Picture: Getty)
Valieva was the favourite to win gold but only came fourth (Picture: AFP)

Valieva, who was part of Russia’s gold medal winning mixed team, discovered on February 8 that she had failed a drugs test dating back to December last year but then successfully appealed against a provisional suspension imposed by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency.

The World Anti-Doping Agency and the IOC, among others, appealed to CAS to reinstate the ban but sport’s highest court ruled that, due to ‘exceptional circumstances’, she should be allowed to skate.

As a minor, Valieva is considered a ‘protected person’ and CAS felt it would cause her ‘irreparable harm’ if she was prevented from skating – particularly as she could still be cleared.

The 15-year-old’s legal team have claimed that her positive drugs test was the result of a contaminated glass of water she drank from which contained traces of her grandfather’s heart medication, though critics of the ruling say Valieva’s participation has undermined the integrity of the competition.

MORE : Sha’Carri Richardson slams Olympic Committee for ‘racist’ double standards over Kamila Valieva

MORE : Kamila Valieva claims failed drugs test was result of drinking from grandfather’s cup

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