Kamila Valieva said she is “happy to be on the ice” after the figure skater competed for the first time since her controversial final appearance at the Bejing 2022 Winter Olympics.
Valieva, 15, was the clear favourite to win gold in the individual event in Beijing, but fell several times and came fourth.
She performed her routine just days after it was discovered that the Russian had tested positive for trimetazidine at the Russian national championships in St. Petersburg in December.
‘I find it strange’ – Savchenko on Valieva silence
22/03/2022 AT 16:16
The gold medal she won in the team event remains provisional and a result may not be known until 2023 due to delays in the doping case.
Valieva was banned from taking part in March’s World Figure Skating Championships, alongside all other Russians due to the nation’s invasion of Ukraine, but instead took part in an event organised in Russia – Channel One Cup – to coincide the competition.
The teenager came second in the free skate programme with a score of 173.88 points, finishing behind Olympic champion Anna Shcherbakova who scored 176.12.
“I am very happy to be on the ice. I am happy that the Channel One Cup has taken place,” Valieva said.
“Spectators give you energy when you are tired. You keep going thanks to them.”
Her performance in the women’s singles short programme on Saturday, skating to In Memoriam by Kirill Richter, was met with a standing ovation by the crowd in Saransk.
Since the Winter Olympics, Valieva has continued training with coach Eteri Tutberidze who hit the headlines last month for saying “why did you stop fighting?” immediately after she broke down into tears following her performance in Beijing.
‘The Olympics is about doing it fairly, it’s scary’ – Rippon on Valieva controversy
Spain pairs skater Barquero becomes the fourth athlete to fail a Winter Olympics doping test
22/02/2022 AT 17:09
Trusova returns as Wonder Woman for Gala, days after angry vow to never skate again
20/02/2022 AT 09:48