Coach Eteri Tutberidze’s first words to Kamila Valieva on her exit from the ice rink after she lost out on a medal in the ladies’ singles were to ask her, “why did you let it go?”
Valieva was the focus of all the build-up to Thursday’s free skate and had the pressure of the world’s attention on her as she skated on following the revelation that she failed a doping test on December 25.
A Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling allowed her to compete in the singles, having already won gold in the team event, but CAS will later take a view on whether she can keep that medal.
'Happy to be on the ice' - Valieva makes competitive return after Olympics
The focus has firmly been on Valieva’s wider entourage, with former figure skater Adam Rippon telling Eurosport that the adults around Valieva had “completely failed her” in an interview on Thursday.
Valieva made a series of errors in her routine and departed the ice in tears.
She was greeted by coach Tutberidze, whose initial words were picked up by cameras.
'Gold is slipping away dramatically' - Valieva suffers nightmare falls
"Why did you let it go?” she said to Valieva. “Explain it to me, why.
“Why did [you] stop fighting? You let it go after that axel. Why?"
Valieva's team-mate Alexandra Trusova was also the subject of stormy scenes after the event, as she was pictured looking angry and tearful ahead of her podium appearance for winning silver.
Trusova was heard to say: “I will never go out on the ice again. Never! I hate!
“It's impossible! You can not do it this way! I'm not going to the awards! Everyone has a gold medal! Only I don't! I hate it all!"
- - -
Watch every moment of Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on discovery+
‘I find it strange’ – Savchenko on Valieva silence
Spain pairs skater Barquero becomes the fourth athlete to fail a Winter Olympics doping test
Share this article