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Kamila Valieva slumped over between her coaches at Beijing2022
Valieva cried between her coaches after stumbling during Beijing 2022 finalImage: Atsushi Taketazu/The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP/picture alliance

Olympics boss rips entourage of figure skater Valieva

February 18, 2022

Thomas Bach slammed Russian teen Kamila Valieva's entourage for their "tremendous coldness" after her troubled final performance. The IOC is looking into the rules on minors competing.


International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach criticized teenage figure skater Kamila Valieva's entourage for the way they treated her after she crashed out of the medal places at the Beijing Olympics.

"When I afterwards saw how she was received by her closest entourage, with such, what appeared to be a tremendous coldness, it was chilling to see this," Bach said on Friday.

"Rather than giving her comfort, rather than to try to help her, you could feel this chilling atmosphere, this distance," he added.

The 15-year-old Russian athlete, who has been at the center of a controversy over a positive doping test, broke down in tears after stumbling several times in her final performance.

The Olympics boss said the IOC would look into the rules applying to minors at competitions.

Valieva's breakdown at women's singles figure skating final

The athlete was in first place going into the final round on Thursday, but she stumbled several times and broke down in tears several times in her final performance.

As she came off the ice, Valieva's coach, Eteri Tutberidze, was seen on camera telling the visibly upset teen, "Why did you let it go? Why did you stop fighting?"

As judges read out the score, she sat crying, sandwiched between Tutberidze and her other coach.

It was only then when Tutberidze put her arm around the young Russian.

"All of this does not give me much confidence in Kamila's closest entourage," Bach said.

Valieva's coach Eteri Tutberidze speaking to the Russian teen
Valieva's coach Eteri Tutberidze speaking to the teen before the women's singles free skating final at the OlympicsImage: David G. McIntyre/ZUMA Press/picture alliance

The World Anti-Doping Agency would investigate Tutberidze and other people close to Valieva over the teenager's positive test for a heart medication ahead of the Olympics.

Teammate shouts 'I hate this sport'

She was allowed to skate on Thursday partly because her age gives her extra rights as a "protected person" in a doping case.

Her teammates, Anna Shcherbakova, won the gold medal and Alexandra Trusova earned silver.

Trusova shouted, "I hate this sport," after Valieva finished her routine on Thursday.

"I won't go onto the ice again."

Valieva's case comes as some in skating have pushed to raise the minimum age for participation at the Olympics from 15 to 17 or 18.

lo/dj (AP, Reuters)

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