- Sputnik International, 1920, 01.02.2022
2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing
The XXIV Olympic Winter Games, which are scheduled from 4-20 February, are kicking off in the Chinese capital. Almost 3,000 athletes from over 90 countries are participating in the games, competing in 15 various disciplines.

Russian Figure Skater Anna Shcherbakova Wins Olympic Gold in Women's Singles

© Sputnik / Grigory Sysoev / Go to the mediabankRussian Figure Skater Anna Shcherbakova at the Beijing Winter Games.
Russian Figure Skater Anna Shcherbakova at the Beijing Winter Games.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.02.2022
Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva, who has been mired in scandal since her 2021 doping inquiry returned a positive result for a banned substance, fell several times during her performance and came 4th on the leaderboard.
Russian Figure Skater Anna Shcherbakova has won gold medal in women's figure skating single competition at the Beijing Winter Games. Shcherbakova, 17, came first with a score of 255.95 after the free programme held on 17 February.
Another Russian skater, Alexandra Trusova, finished second with a score of 251.73 points, and Japanese athlete Kaori Sakamoto won bronze medal with 233.13 points.
The third Russian skater, 15-year-old Kamila Valieva, who was leading after the short programme in the women's figure skating single competition, made a series of mistakes, falling twice during her performance in the free programme. As a result she got only 141.93 points in the latter (versus 175.75 points of Shcherbakova) and landed on the fourth place with 224.09 points total.

Public Pressure on Russian Skater Valieva

Valieva came under severe pressure before the women's skating single competition after a sample, taken in December 2021 well ahead of the Olympic Games, returned a positive result for doping. She defended her right to perform at the Olympics, where she had already helped Russia win gold in teams skating, in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
A separate disciplinary board will later review her case and doping test results and will determine what sanctions Valieva has to face, if any.
The CAS justified its decision to allow Valieva to compete, but pointed out that she is protected as a minor from severe sanctions and her guilt in taking doping has not yet been proved. Additionally, the CAS pointed out that the Russian skater did not test positive in the pre-Olympics screening and condemned the fact that it took the laboratory 45 days to test her December 2021 sample and return the results.
After the news of Valieva's positive doping test, western media took the opportunity groundlessly to accuse Russia once again of maintaining an alleged "doping programme" and called for Valieva's removal from the Olympics. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) unsuccessfully appealed the CAS to ban her future performances at the championship, but accepted the arbitration's ruling. However, the IOC refused to hold any award ceremonies involving Valieva.
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