Young figure skater Kamila Valieva tops the women’s individual event at the Beijing Winter Olympics as she targets another gold medal amid ongoing controversy.
The 15-year-old Russian – cleared to continue at the Games after a failed drug test – couldn’t hold back tears after an emotional routine in Tuesday’s short program in which she stumbled uncharacteristically after failing to perform a triple axel correctly, becoming just the fourth woman to land such a move at the Winter Olympics last week.
Despite not looking her best after days of controversy and uncertainty, favorite Valieva dressed in purple still managed an overall score of 82.16, which was enough to keep her ahead. ahead of Thursday’s 25-women’s free skate ahead of teammate Anna Shcherbakova. (80.20) and the Japanese Kaori Sakamoto (79.84).
However, whether or not she is allowed to keep the medals won in Beijing remains to be seen and is unlikely to be decided for some time to come as there will be no ceremony in the women’s singles competition. if Valieva ranks in the top three.
Valieva – a reigning European and Russian national champion – helped the Russian Olympic Committee win gold in the team figure skating competition last week, only to find out later that she had failed at a drug test.
The teenage star produced a positive result for the banned heart drug trimetazidine – commonly used to treat angina – from a test taken on December 25, which was not officially reported until February 8.
On Monday, a Court of Arbitration panel cleared the way for Valieva to participate in the individual program, although she could still face penalties for the positive test, which her team says was caused by contamination. accidental by his grandfather’s medication.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has opened investigations into those around Valieva for possible doping violations.