MOSCOW (AFP, REUTERS) – President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday (April 26) defended Russian determine skater Kamila Valieva, who was on the centre of a doping scandal on the Beijing Winter Olympics, saying she could not have won gold “dishonestly”.
“The whole country, figure skating fans all over the world, were especially worried about Kamila,” Mr Putin stated throughout a televised assembly with Russian Olympic medallists on the Kremlin.
Valieva has “absorbed all the most complex elements of figure skating – its flexibility, beauty, power and tenderness… and with her work brought the sport to the height of real art,” Mr Putin stated.
“Such perfection cannot be achieved dishonestly, with the help of some additional means, manipulations… we understand and know this very well,” he stated.
At February’s Games, Valieva turned the primary girl to land a quadruple soar in Olympic competitors, serving to the Russian crew safe gold within the crew occasion.
It then emerged that she had earlier examined constructive for trimetazidine, a drug used to deal with angina however which is banned for athletes as a result of it could increase endurance.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport allowed Valieva – who was 15 on the time – to proceed competing on the Games, citing her younger age, although with out clearing her of doping.
In the person closing, Valieva fell a number of occasions and completed in fourth place.
The International Olympic Committee determined not to award any medals for the crew occasion till Valieva’s doping case has been resolved.
Meanwhile, subsequent 12 months’s ice hockey world championship will likely be moved away from St Petersburg in Russia, governing physique IIHF stated on Tuesday, attributable to issues concerning the well-being of gamers and officers after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The event was scheduled to happen in St Petersburg from May 5-21. The federation stated it would title an alternate host through the 2022 world championship, which is able to happen in Finland.
“The decision to relocate the event was taken primarily out of concern for the safety and well-being of all participating players, officials, media, and fans,” the IIHF stated in a press release.
“The council expressed significant concerns over the safe freedom of movement of players and officials to, from, and within Russia.”
Earlier this 12 months, the IIHF suspended Russian and Belarusian groups from its competitions till additional discover and revoked Russia’s internet hosting rights for the 2023 world junior championships.
Moscow calls its actions in Ukraine a “special military operation”. Belarus is a key staging space for the invasion.