Beijing Olympics 2022: Russian teenager Kamila Valieva stumbles in skating final to spare IOC blushes

The West Australian
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Kamila Valieva reacts after her mistake filled skate. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Camera IconKamila Valieva reacts after her mistake filled skate. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) Credit: Bernat Armangue/AP

The teenager at the centre of the latest Russian Olympic doping scandal was left in tears tonight after a series of falls in the figure skating meant she finished a devastating fourth.

Kamila Valieva tumbled all the way out of the medals after a mistake-filled end to her controversial Olympics.

The 15-year-old was heavily favoured to win the gold medal but is headed home with nothing from the women’s program and still faces investigation for a positive drug test.

BEIJING, CHINA - FEBRUARY 17: Kamila Valieva of Team ROC falls 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 Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Camera IconBEIJING, CHINA - FEBRUARY 17: Kamila Valieva of Team ROC falls 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 Catherine Ivill/Getty Images) Credit: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Moments after she walked off, workers began setting up for a flower ceremony that the International Olympic Committee said would not take place if Valieva was on the podium.

IOC president Thomas Bach had earlier offered US figure skaters Olympic torches as holdover gifts while they await a resolution of the doping case that is preventing them from receiving their silver medals in the team event.

Kamila Valieva, of the Russian Olympic Committee, is consoled by her coach Eteri Tutberidze after the women's free skate program during the figure skating competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Camera IconKamila Valieva, of the Russian Olympic Committee, is consoled by her coach Eteri Tutberidze after the women's free skate program during the figure skating competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) Credit: David J. Phillip/AP

Bach, in a private meeting with the skaters in Beijing that lasted about two hours, reiterated the IOC stand that no medal ceremonies would be held for events involving Russian figure skater Valieva.

But some of the heat was taken out of the issue with her faltering performance tonight.

Anna Shcherbakova won a stunning gold medal with a near-flawless free skate to leap over Valieva, the leader after the short program.

Russian teammate Alexandra Trusova leaped to silver while Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto held onto the bronze medal.

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