Russian Olympic Committee figure skater Kamila Valieva finished fourth Thursday in the women’s individual skating event at the Beijing Olympics after going into the competition as a favorite to win.
Fellow Russian skaters Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova earned gold and silver overall, while Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto won bronze.
Valieva, 15, topped the scoreboard going into Thursday’s free skate competition. However, she stumbled on the ice, earning her a score of 141.93 and putting her in fifth place for the day. Combined with her score from Tuesday’s short program, Valieva placed fourth overall.
For the Americans, Alysa Liu placed seventh while Mariah Bell placed 10th and Karen Chen earned 16th place overall.
Officials on Monday cleared Valieva to compete in the women’s individual skating event after the Court of Arbitration for Sport heard arguments over the weekend against the Russian Anti-Doping Agency’s decision to lift a provisional suspension put into place after a Swedish lab determined that Valieva had tested positive for a banned heart medication, weeks before the start of the Olympics.
Officials said Valieva tested positive for trimetazidine, a drug used to treat chest pain that is prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency as a hormone and metabolic modulator. The positive test came back after the teenager helped Russia to clinch gold in the team figure skating event last week, though officials said the sample had been taken more than six weeks earlier during the Russian Figure Skating Championships in St. Petersburg, Russia.
On Monday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that suspending Valieva from participation in the Beijing Olympics would cause her irreparable harm, noting that she did not test positive for banned substances during the Winter Games and her status as a “protected person” under the World Anti-Doping Code.
Following the decision, the International Olympic Committee announced that it would not hold a medal ceremony for the team figure skating event. Further, organization officials said no medal ceremony would take place following the women’s individual skating event if Valieva placed in the top three.
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