IOC President criticizes Valieva’s treatment by her coaches

The president of the International Olympic Committee on Friday called the treatment of a teenage Russian figure skater by her coaches “chilling” a day after the skater , Kamila Valieva, fell out of the medal match at the Beijing Olympics with an error performance in the women’s singles competition. The comments were quickly met with an angry response from a top Russian government official.

Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, told a news conference in Beijing that he felt uncomfortable watching Valieva collapse during her night of freestyle skating on Thursday night. . 15-year-old Valieva entered the night as a gold medalist but stumbled repeatedly to fall to fourth place and missed a medal completely.

“I was so disturbed yesterday when I watched the competition on TV,” Bach said, adding, “You can feel this is a huge, emotional strain and she would probably love to quit the tape. over and leave this story her.”

The Russian deputy prime minister quickly responded, saying Bach’s comments were “inappropriate and false”.

Valieva, whose Olympics have become the culmination of expectations, allusions and pressure after revealing she had failed a doping test before the Olympics, was in tears after her performance. me. Her anguish only grew when she left the ice rink and her coach, Eteri Tutberidze, immediately began interrogating her in Russian in one scene. taken by television cameras.

“Why did you stop fighting?” Tutberidze asked. “Explain to me, why? You let it go after that ax. Valieva did not answer.

Bach said it was “chilling” to witness the coldness Valieva received from Tutberidze and other Russian skating officials after her skating.

“All of this has nothing to do with confidence in this retainer of Kamila,” Bach said, “with nothing to do with what happened in the past, nor with the future.”

In an emailed statement, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Chernyshenko, said he was “deeply disappointed” to see Bach “weave his own fictional story about the feelings of our athletes.” , and then present these publicly as the voice of the IOC”

Bach and Chernyshenko know each other well. Chernyshenko is the chairman of the local organizing committee for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and he served on the Olympic organizing committee for the Beijing Olympics before remove after the state-sanctioned doping scheme at the Sochi Olympics was revealed.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has allowed Valieva to continue competing at the Olympics despite testing positive for a banned substance, a heart medication, a few weeks before the Games. The court’s decision was largely due, according to a report released Thursday, because the Stockholm lab did not process her sample quickly. However, she could still face penalties, even though it could take months to fully resolve her case. IOC President criticizes Valieva’s treatment by her coaches

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