Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned Tuesday that teenage figure skater Kamila Valieva’s performances could not have been accomplished with the assistance of any banned substances.

Valieva, who turned 16 on Tuesday, failed a doping exam at the Russian countrywide championships past December but the final result was only disclosed on Feb. 8, a working day just after she had presently helped the Russian Olympic Committee get the workforce event at the Beijing Games.

The scenario solid a shadow on Russians’ participation at the Video games as they currently faced greater scrutiny in excess of separate doping sanctions that observed them contend devoid of their flag and nationwide anthem.

“By means of her do the job, she introduced the activity to the stage of a authentic form of art,” Putin stated Valieva at a televised awards ceremony at the Kremlin for medallists from the 2022 Beijing Winter season Olympics.

“This sort of perfection cannot be attained dishonestly with the help of extra substances, manipulations. We very nicely know that these more substances are not wanted in determine skating.”

Valieva, favourite to acquire Olympic gold, was cleared to compete in the women’s one event in Beijing by the Court docket of Arbitration for Sport but stumbled to fourth place with an mistake-laden totally free skate. She turned the initially lady to land a quadruple soar at the Olympics throughout the crew event.

Check out | Valieva destinations 4th in Olympic women’s totally free skate:

15-year-old Kamila Valieva struggles in no cost skate, finishes 4th

The Russian determine skater fell two times in the remaining skate of her controversial effectiveness at Beijing 2022. 9:02

Valieva’s case instigated questions above whether or not the minimum amount age for competition in figure skating, currently 15, requires to be lifted to secure minors.

Putin claimed Russian and Belarusian Paralympians, removed from the Beijing Paralympic Game titles soon after Russia despatched troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, was a situation of discrimination primarily based on nationality.

“The suspension of athletes from Russia and Belarus not only immediately violated the basic rules of sport but their most essential human legal rights were… brazenly, cynically violated,” Putin reported at a ceremony with Olympians and Paralympians at the Kremlin.

Putin also criticized the Worldwide Swimming Federation (FINA) for handing Russian Olympic gold medallist Evgeny Rylov a 9-month suspension for attending a rally backing Moscow’s navy intervention in Ukraine, contacting the shift “entirely absurd.”

Several global sporting activities federations have barred the two Russian and Belarusian athletes from using portion in international functions above Moscow’s military services marketing campaign in Ukraine.

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