Valieva stumbles as teammate wins skating gold


Kamila Valieva stumbled and fell her means by a nervy efficiency to finish her controversial Beijing Olympics, whereas Russian Olympic Committee teammate Anna Shcherbakova received the gold medal Thursday within the ladies’s free skate.

Valieva’s mistake-filled skate left her in fourth place, with out a medal and in tears. The 15-year-old was closely favored to win the gold however heads residence with nothing from the ladies’s program and nonetheless faces investigation for a optimistic drug check.

Ultimately, her ROC teammate Shcherbakova received the gold in gorgeous trend, however she additionally appeared devastated when the ultimate scores got here in.

The Beijing Video games have been alleged to be Valieva’s coronation as the game’s subsequent famous person. However after the revelation of her failed drug check in December because of the banned coronary heart remedy trimetazidine, and the Courtroom of Arbitration for Sport’s resolution earlier this week to permit her to compete, the competitors has been overshadowed by Valieva’s participation.

If Valieva had received a medal, there wouldn’t have been a ceremony because of the ongoing investigation, and the determine skating neighborhood was outraged that she was allowed to compete.

Nobody appeared proud of the consequence Thursday. Shcherbakova, who completed with a 255.95 mixed rating from the 2 days of competitors, stood alone whereas a lot of the ROC staff consoled Valieva.

Valieva did not converse to reporters within the blended zone after her efficiency, as an alternative shortly making her means by the room with out stopping.

Shcherbakova, who did converse to reporters, did not provide a lot perception into what had occurred with Valieva however insisted she herself had no blended feelings after incomes the highest spot on the rostrum.

“No, I’m simply glad. I’m solely glad,” Shcherbakova stated. “I nonetheless have not realized what occurred. I am unable to imagine the Olympics are already over for me.”

Alexandra Trusova, additionally representing the ROC, received the silver medal after a efficiency with 5 profitable quad jumps. However a sobbing Trusova stated she did not need to take part within the medal ceremony, though she in the end did attend the occasion.

Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto received the bronze medal.

“I do not even know what to really feel or what to suppose,” Tara Lipinski, the 1998 Olympic gold medalist, stated on the NBC broadcast. “You are watching [Valieva] undergo this ache — she’s 15. I blame the adults round her to even be put on this place — and all the different athletes, what they’ve gone by this week. The potential for there being no medal ceremony, or podium — that is what each little lady goals of after they consider the Olympics.”

Alysa Liu, 16, had the very best consequence among the many trio of American ladies within the competitors with a 208.95 mixed rating and seventh-place consequence. Mariah Bell, who had a clear skate, completed in tenth place and Karen Chen in sixteenth. A number of Workforce USA members sitting within the stands walked out earlier than Valieva took the ice Thursday.

Valieva examined optimistic for a banned coronary heart remedy on the Russian championship in December, however the consequence was not revealed till final week, shortly after she helped to win a staff gold medal that’s now additionally unsure.

Valieva was cleared to compete within the free skate when the Courtroom of Arbitration for Sport dominated that she had protected standing as a minor and would undergo “irreparable hurt” if she was not allowed to carry out. The courtroom didn’t rule on the complete scope of the case, leaving that to anti-doping investigators.

“Do I really feel sorry for her? I do not suppose so. I would not say so,” Sakamoto stated after her quick program. “After all, there have been moments the place I assumed: ‘What is going on to occur? What’s taking place?'”

Valieva has claimed the trimetazidine entered her system unintentionally. However the World Anti-Doping Company filed a quick stating that two different substances she acknowledged taking, L-carnitine and Hypoxen — although each authorized — undercut the argument {that a} banned substance might have been ingested in error.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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