IOC president slams ‘tremendous coldness’ directed at Valieva

Kamila Valieva of Team ROC reacts after skating during the Women Single Skating Free Skating on day thirteen of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at Capital Indoor Stadium on February 17, 2022 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Amin Mohammad Jamali/Getty Images)

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach is speaking out about those closest to Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva after the 15-year-old’s mistake-filled Olympic free skate.

Valieva slipped and fell at least four times during her routine Thursday, earning a score of 141.93, which dropped her from medal contention as she finished in fourth place with a total score of 224.09.

“When I afterwards saw how she was received by her closest entourage, with such, what appeared to be a tremendous coldness, it was chilling to see this,” Bach told reporters Friday. “Rather than giving her comfort, rather than to try to help her, you could feel this chilling atmosphere, this distance.”

The teenager was cleared to compete in the Beijing Games despite testing positive for a banned substance on Dec. 25, with the Court for Arbitration for Sport citing Valieva’s age in their ruling, allowing her to take the ice in Beijing.

After Valieva’s free skate, the Russian skater’s coach, Eteri Tutberidze, could be heard saying, “Why did you let it go? Why did you stop fighting?”

The 15-year-old’s team, including Tutberidze, is under investigation over Valieva’s positive test for trimetazidine, a heart medication.