'Chilling': IOC disturbed by Russian skater's public meltdown, coach's behaviour
Winter Olympics 2022: The International Olympic Committee speaks out on Kamila Valieva, who has been pushed into the spotlight because of a doping investigation.
15-year-old Kamila Valieva had a public meltdown during her performance at the 2022 Winter Olympics, following media glare on her for having failed a dope test. She finished 4th in the women's figure skating competition, on the sidelines of which her coach's behaviour drew some astonished reactions.
Speaking to media on Friday morning, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said he was "disturbed" by the "chilling" attitude of Valieva's coaches as she left the ice in tears.
Valieva, 15, was clearly affected by the pressure on her. She stumbled multiple times and fell during her routine. When she skated off the ice, she broke down in tears.
However, she was confronted by her controversial coach Eteri Tutberidze, who, according to Russian media reports, immediately questioned why the teenager "stopped fighting" after making an initial mistake and did not offer a customary embrace.
"Why did you let it go? Why did you let it go? Tell me," Tutberidze can be heard saying.
The controversy surrounding Valieva had prompted the IOC to declare that medals would not be awarded for the event should Valieva finish in the top three.
While that eventuality did not happen, the spotlight has shifted from the young athlete to the adults around her.
"This is a 15-year-old girl who has a drug in her body that should not have been there. The ones that administered it to her, these are the people that are guilty," Bach said.
"An investigation into her entourage has to follow. I hope this will bring full clarity. The people who are responsible for this, they will be held to account in the right way, and when I say in the right way, I say in the strongest possible way," he added.