Kamila Valieva's telling move after 'chilling' scenes at Olympics

Kamila Valieva, pictured here at the Winter Olympics.
Kamila Valieva has thanked her coaches after her controversial Winter Olympics campaign. Image: Getty

Kamila Valieva has thanked her coaches and supporters on social media following the scandal that erupted over her positive doping test at the Winter Olympics.

The figure skater and her Russian teammates received a hero's welcome home this week, with patriotic fans clearly willing to move past the controversy that erupted in Beijing.

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The 15-year-old tested positive for a banned substance in December, however it was only released after she'd helped the Russian Olympic Committee win gold in the team event at the Olympics.

Valieva then fell several times in the individual event to miss out on a medal, finishing fourth despite being the overwhelming favourite.

Coach Eteri Tutberidze copped a raft of criticism in the aftermath of Valieva's stunning series of falls, with IOC boss Thomas Bach describing her reaction as "chilling".

But in a series of Instagram posts on Monday, Valieva thanked her coaches - Tutberidze and Daniil Gleikhengauz.

“You are absolute masters at what you do! You not only train, but also teach how to overcome yourself, which helps not only in sport but also in life,” Valieva wrote alongside a photo of herself and her coaches at the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

“With you by my side, I feel protected and able to overcome any ordeals. Thank you for helping me to be strong."

In a separate message to fans, Valieva wrote: “I want to thank everyone who has been with me during this tough period: who was by my side and did not let me lose heart, who sent me supportive messages, who was just thinking of me, who prayed, who believed me and in me.

“Thank you, my fans, my family and friends, my coaches, the entire ROC team, my country, and people from all over the world.

“THANK YOU ALL!!!! I AM FOREVER GRATEFUL!!!! I will always remember this, be grateful to you and skate for you.”

Kamila Valieva, pictured here receiving a hero's welcome home in Russia.
Kamila Valieva received a hero's welcome home in Russia. (Photo by Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images)

Russian coach hits back at IOC boss' criticism

Last week, Tutberidze said she was baffled by the harsh criticism from Bach about how she treated Valieva.

Bach was scathing on Friday about how Tutberidze and the rest of the entourage reacted after Valieva had fallen twice and finished fourth.

Bach said he was "disturbed" by the "the tremendous coldness" the 15-year-old received, saying it did "not give me much confidence in the closest entourage of Kamila."

Valieva was in tears after her performance on Thursday and Tutberidze appeared to berate her in the "kiss and cry" area.

"When I afterwards saw how she was received by her close entourage ... it was chilling to see this," Bach said.

Kamila Valieva and teammates, pictured here at a ceremony to honour Russian athletes who competed at the Winter Olympics.
Kamila Valieva and teammates attend a ceremony to honour Russian athletes who competed at the Winter Olympics. (Photo by Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images)

Russian officials have dismissed the criticism and Tutberidze also took to social media to respond.

"I am still baffled by the assessment of our work from the respected Mr Bach," Tutberidze said on Instagram.

She also expressed support for an open letter from Russian coach Alexander Shulin to Bach in which he expressed "surprise" by the IOC leader's statements.

He said Tutberidze had trained four gold medallists since 2014 and "she probably knows how and what she must tell her pupils after their performances."

with AAP

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