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Axios

Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva finishes 4th at Olympics after falling multiple times

Russian Olympic figure skater Kamila Valieva on Thursday failed to make the Olympic podium in the women's individual competition after falling multiple times during the free skate.

Driving the news: Russia's Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova won gold and silver, respectively, and Japan's Kaori Sakamoto took the bronze. Valieva, who was favored to win gold, finished in fourth place.


  • The shocking end to the women's individual event result triggered an intense display of raw emotion from the top four athletes after the competition.

State of play: The stunning result also put to rest questions about whether there would be a medal ceremony for the women's individual event. The International Olympic Committee had said that there would not be a medal ceremony if Valieva finished in the top three as the 15-year-old skater's doping case is unresolved.

  • The IOC said, however, it will not hold a medal ceremony for the team event during the Beijing Olympics due to Valieva's doping controversy. Valieva had helped the Russian team win the gold, while the U.S. took the silver and Japan earned the bronze.

The big picture: Valieva was cleared this week to compete in the Olympics by a panel of arbitrators, despite having a banned drug in her system during the Russian national championships in December.

  • The panel said that banning Valieva from the Beijing Olympics would cause her "irreparable harm," noting there were "exceptional circumstances" in her case and that she's a minor.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details throughout.