‘You are Russian, be proud,’ Kremlin tells Valieva
Russian figure skating prodigy Kamila Valieva has the full support of the Kremlin after she was caught up in a doping scandal at the 2022 Beijing Olympics, spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said.
Peskov said the 15-year-old should hold her head up high in response to the news that Valieva was seen wearing a hood while walking past a crowd of journalists at training on Friday in Beijing.
“Overwhelmingly, we absolutely overwhelmingly support Kamila Valieva in any case, and we urge everyone to support her,” Peskov said.
“And we tell her: ‘Kamila don’t hide your face. You are Russian. Walk proudly and, most importantly, compete and defeat everyone!’” he added.
Valieva’s continued participation at the Beijing Games remains unclear after the International Testing Agency (ITA) revealed that a doping probe taken at the Russian national championships in December had tested positive for the banned heart drug trimetazidine.
The testing laboratory in Stockholm, Sweden, reported the positive only after Valieva had led the ROC to Olympic gold in the figure skating team event in Beijing, where she had become the first woman in history to land a quad at the Winter Games.
The Russian anti-doping agency imposed a provisional suspension on Valieva after receiving the results of her doping probe earlier this week, although Valieva appealed that step and had the ban lifted on February 9, meaning she is currently able to train and compete in Beijing.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Skating Union (ISU) have filed appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to overturn the Russian decision to allow her to compete.
A CAS panel is expected to hold an expedited hearing on Valieva’s case ahead of the ladies' singles event on Tuesday, where Valieva is due to compete and is favorite for the gold medal.