Russia Olympic Committee (ROC) figure skater Kamila Valieva, who is at the center of a doping scandal, finished in fourth place in the women’s individual figure skating event with 224.09 points.
The ROC’s Anna Shcherbakova placed first in the competition, dazzling with a spectacular free skate performance to top the field with a score of 255.95, guaranteeing a one-two finish for the ROC.
Valieva made mistakes on several different jumps throughout her routine, falling on a few separate occasions, ruining her chances at finishing first ahead of ROC teammate Shcherbakova.
The 15-year-old left the ice in tears upon the end of her routine, as she received loud applause from those in the stands, and was consoled afterwards as the emotions from the past few days appeared to catch up with her.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had previously said no medal or flower ceremony for the winners would be held should Valieva finish in the top three. But after some apparent resistance from silver medalist – and Valieva’s ROC teammate – Alexandra Trusova to take the podium, there was a flower ceremony for the top three finishers.
A medal ceremony for the three winners – Shcherbakova, Trusova and bronze medalist Kaori Sakamoto – is scheduled for 6:45 a.m. ET / 7:45 p.m. local time Friday, according to the Olympics official media site.
Eye of a storm
Valieva has been at the center of a doping scandal having played a pivotal role in guiding the ROC to gold in the figure skating team event after she became the first woman to land a quad at the Winter Games.
The medal ceremony for the event was due to take place last week but was postponed after a positive test, now known to be that of Valieva, was returned by a member of the ROC figure skating team.
It emerged days into the Olympics that she tested positive for the banned heart drug trimetazidine, which experts say can enhance endurance. Valieva has sought to blame the positive test on contamination from medication taken by her grandfather, an IOC official familiar with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) hearing which cleared Valieva for the rest of the Games said on Tuesday.
“Her argument was that this contamination happened with a product her grandfather was taking,” Denis Oswald, the chair of the IOC Disciplinary Commission said, while clarifying that he was not present at the CAS hearing.
Valieva’s positive test for trimetazidine, though taken in December, was only analyzed and reported to Russia’s Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) in February, resulting in Valieva’s suspension on February 8 – a day after she helped propel the ROC to a gold-medal finish in the figure skating team event.
But the skater was reinstated after an appeal, and CAS on Monday allowed her to compete in the Olympics, citing specific provisions related to her protected status as minor, while investigations into any doping violations by Valieva and the adults responsible for her training continue.
Oswald also reiterated the IOC’s intention to investigate Valieva’s entourage, which would include her coach Eteri Tutberidze, who is known for her extreme training techniques.
“It is clearly a wish and a decision of the IOC but also WADA to examine all aspects of this case including the situation of the entourage because, of course, you can imagine a girl of 15 would not do something wrong alone – so yes, the entourage will be investigated,” Oswald told reporters.
CAS has not responded to CNN’s request for comment regarding Oswald’s quotes.
An emotional Valieva finished first after the short program of the women’s singles competition on Tuesday.
IOC spokesperson Mark Adams said Wednesday that any result involving the 15-year-old in the women’s individual event would carry an “asterisk” until her case has been concluded.
In a statement released on the ROC’s website, the president of the ROC, Stanislav Pozdnyakov, said the organization “categorically” disagreed with the IOC’s position that the results should be considered “preliminary.”
The head of the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) Travis Tygart said about Valieva in a statement: “On the one hand, my heart breaks for her because of the despicable acts of the adults in her life and the catastrophic failures of the Russian and IOC-run systems that permanently cast a dark cloud over her performances.
“On the other hand, all of us who value clean sport are sick to our stomachs because these failures have tragically robbed clean athletes of their incredible sacrifice and Olympic dreams.”