May 30, 2023

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With Russia frozen out, Valieva returns to ice at home

With Russia frozen out, Valieva returns to ice at home

Kamila Valieva will return to the ice as Russian skaters, banned from the World Championships, compete in Saransk this weekend, Moscow media reported on Wednesday.

Sport Express published a list of entrants for the Pervy Kanal Cup and it includes Valieva.

The 15-year-old started the Beijing Olympics as the favourite in the women’s figure skating but became a focus of controversy after she was allowed to continue competing despite an earlier positive drugs test.

Her return comes in a competition which the national skating federation rescheduled to clash with the World Championships in France after the International Skating Federation barred Russian and Belarusian skaters following the invasion of Ukraine.

The event runs from March 25-27. The World Championships in Montpellier started on Wednesday and end with the traditional gala on Sunday.
In Saransk, Valieva will compete against her training partner Anna Shcherbakova, who was crowned Olympic champion in Beijing.

The list of entrants also included the Olympic silver and bronze medallists in pairs and the ice dance silver medallists.

Valieva’s story dominated the Winter Games.

After becoming the first woman to land a quadruple jump in Olympic competition to help Russia win the team event, it emerged that Valieva had earlier tested positive for trimetazidine, a drug used to treat angina but which is banned for athletes because it can boost endurance.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport allowed her to continue competing at the Games, citing her young age, though without clearing her of doping.

In the individual final, Valieva fell several times, to audible gasps from the crowd, and was given a cold reception from her coach Eteri Tutberidze as she left the rink.

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Olympic president Thomas Bach, himself a former gold medallist, called that reaction “chilling” and ordered an investigation of the young skater’s coaches and advisors.

Valieva’s doping case looks certain to drag on for months.