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Kamila Valieva competes in the women's free skate on Feb. 17.
Kamila Valieva competes within the ladies’s free skate on Feb. 17. (Peter Kneffel/Image Alliance/Getty Photographs) To read more about articlesubmited click here.

As Kamila Valieva fell a number of occasions in Thursday’s free skate program on the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, lots of the determine skating followers in attendance felt for the 15-year-old.

Underneath the immense weight of an enormous doping scandal, Valieva completed in fourth place within the ladies’s particular person occasion, whereas her Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) teammate Anna Shcherbakova captured gold.

Valieva — who was the clear favourite to complete in first place after popping out on prime of Tuesday’s quick program — broke into tears as she left the ice because the emotion of the previous few days appeared to meet up with her.

Loud chants of “Kamila, Kamila, Kamila” got here from the stands as a tearful Valieva was consoled by coach Eteri Tutberidze as she made her method off the rink.

Former US Olympic determine skater Polina Edmunds supplied her help to Valieva on Twitter.

“Very traumatizing Olympic expertise for Kamila Valieva. She mustn’t have been allowed to compete, it is devastating that she was put on this scenario, on all ranges.”

Shcherbakova, who was the skater who competed immediately earlier than Valieva within the ultimate, stated she felt “nervous” watching her teammate skate.

“I watched Kamila however in all probability didn’t perceive what I used to be experiencing,” the 17-year-old stated. “After all, I used to be very nervous for her throughout the skate as a result of from the very first leap it was clear that the skate goes very exhausting and I perceive completely what an athlete feels at these moments.”

Why was Valieva even allowed to compete? The doping controversy was the principle speaking level as she struggled to take care of her run and penned the following chapter in a narrative that’s sure to rumble on far past the Beijing Video games.

The Russian determine skater has been on the coronary heart of a doping scandal that may be traced again to December 2021, when the 15-year-old examined optimistic for the banned coronary heart drug trimetazidine, which consultants say can improve endurance.

Valieva has sought guilty the optimistic take a look at on contamination from treatment taken by her grandfather, an IOC official conversant in the Courtroom of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) listening to which cleared Valieva for the remainder of the Video games stated on Tuesday.

Nonetheless, the take a look at was solely analyzed and reported to Russia’s Anti-Doping Company (RUSADA) in February, leading to Valieva’s suspension on February 8.

The suspension got here a day after Valieva had helped the ROC to a gold medal victory within the determine skating group occasion.

Valieva was reinstated after an attraction, and the Courtroom of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) allowed her to compete within the Olympics. CAS stated in an announcement it had determined Valieva ought to be allowed to compete resulting from “distinctive circumstances,” together with particular provisions linked to her standing as a “protected individual” — as a result of she is a minor — beneath the World Anti-Doping Code.

Learn extra:

Why Kamila Valieva's 'very traumatizing' skating controversy matters

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