Olympics boss 'disturbed' by coach's 'chilling' Kamila Valieva act

Pictured left, Kamila Valieva's coach Eteri Tutberidze reacts after the 15-year-old's Winter Olympics heartache.
Kamila Valieva's coach Eteri Tutberidze was slammed over her response to the 15-year-old's disappointment. Pic: Getty

President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach has hit out at the coach of figure skater Kamila Valieva, in the wake of the Russian teen's heartbreaking performance at the Winter Games.

Valieva, already under immense worldwide scrutiny after being allowed to compete in Beijing despite failing a doping test, was reduced to tears after falling several times in the finale of a women's figure skating event she was favoured to win gold in.

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To make matters worse for the shattered 15-year-old, Valieva proceeded to be berated by Russian coach Eteri Tutberidze after a number of uncharacteristic stumbles that saw her end up finishing outside the medals in fourth place.

Tutberidze, who is set to come under investigation over the positive drug test Valieva returned on December 25, was caught on camera angrily confronting the clearly devastated 15-year-old.

“Why did you let it go? Why did you stop fighting?” she was overheard saying, comments that have since sparked widespread outrage.

Bach admits that he was left "very disturbed" by the scenes and questioned why Valieva's coach and the rest of her entourage was so "cold" towards the 15-year-old.

“I was very disturbed when I watched it on TV,” Bach said.

“When I saw how she was received by the closest entourage with such a tremendous coolness, it was chilling to see this.”

Valieva's were far from the only tears on the ice on Thursday night, with fellow Russian Alexandra Trusova devastated after compatriot Anna Shcherbakova pipped her to gold.

A distraught Trusova clearly thought she had been robbed of gold and let her emotions pour out in a stunning outburst after the final points were announced.

“Everyone has a gold medal, everyone, but not me,” Trusova said, according to Reuters.

“I hate skating. I hate it. I hate this sport. I will never skate again. Never. It’s impossible. That’s not how it should be.”

Bach said seeing the distraught skater break down on the ice in front of a worldwide TV audience confirmed his fears about how Russia's young stars had been treated.

“I was pondering about whether you can be really so cold but when I saw and read today how Alexandra Trusova was being treated, I am afraid that this impression I had last night was not the wrong one.

“All of this does not give me much confidence in this close entourage of Kamila.”

Kamila Valieva is seen here being berated by Russian coach Eteri Tutberidze after her Winter Games heartbreak.
Kamila Valieva faced immediate and unnecessarily harsh criticism from coach Eteri Tutberidze after her Winter Games heartbreak. Pic: Getty

Russian figure skating program ends in medals and tears

Despite winning gold and silver for Russia, Shcherbakova and Trusova were clearly affected by the chaos engulfing Russia's ice-skating team.

Shcherbakova - herself only 17 - said she felt 'emptiness inside' after winning gold and admitted she felt great sympathy for Valieva, whose controversial Games ended in heartbreak.

Valieva had been in pole position after topping the short program, and had been expected to add the singles title to the team crown she led Russia to before the doping controversy erupted.

The IOC had said that for the first time in Olympics history that no medals would be awarded if Valieva finished in the top three because she could yet be punished for taking a banned substance.

Seen here, a distraught Kamila Valieva is consoled by her Russian entourage.
Kamila Valieva broke down in tears in devastating scenes at the Winter Olympics. Image: Getty

In the end that was not a factor as Valieva, dressed in black and red, stumbled several times in her routine.

The distraught teenager had her head in her hands at the end and then broke down as she waited to hear her score.

CAS ruled during the Games that Valieva could continue to skate in the Olympics, citing “exceptional circumstances” and the "irreparable harm” it would cause if the teen was banned.

However, CAS did not absolve her of doping and the investigation looks set to rumble on well after the action ends in Beijing.

with agencies

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