Thomas Bach has hit out at the treatment meted out to Kamila Valieva, calling the behaviour of the 15-year-old's entourage "chilling".
Coach Eteri Tutberidze’s first words to Valieva on her exit from the ice rink after she lost out on a medal in the ladies’ singles were to ask her, “why did you let it go?”
Valieva was the focus of all the build-up to Thursday’s free skate and had the pressure of the world’s attention on her as she skated on following the revelation that she failed a doping test on December 25.
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A Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling allowed her to compete in the singles, having already won gold in the team event, but CAS will later take a view on whether she can keep that medal.
"There is a very sad story about Kamila Valieva," began Bach at the press conference on Friday.
"I was very disturbed when I watched the competition on TV, in her performance how high the pressure must have been. This pressure is beyond my imagination in particular for a girl of 15 years.
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"To see her struggling, trying to compose herself, you can see the immense mental stress, perhaps she would have preferred to leave this story behind her.
She was received with such tremendous coldness. It was chilling.
"All of which does not give me confidence in the entourage of Kamila, neither in regard to what happened in the past or as far as it concerns the future. This was no way to treat a 15-year old under such mental stress. I wish she has the support of her friends and family to help her through this difficult situation."
Valieva made a series of errors in her routine and departed the ice in tears, and Bach also addressed the issue of minors competing at the Olympics.
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“There are issues to be addressed, this concerns the issue of minors in senior competitions," he added.
"Our executive board have started to think about it, this needs careful deliberation and consultation.”
Bach also defended the IOC’s handling of the situation, labelling the individual or individuals who administered any banned substance as the guilty parties in the affair.
“There is a positive A sample and this positive A sample has to be dealt with,” added Bach.
“You do not solve problems by ignoring them. And we were not ignoring them, we were addressing them but we lost the CAS case. This is not chaos but the rule of law – this is justice.
“We are following the rule of law and we are feeling at the same time with a minor - with a 15-year-old girl - who obviously has a drug in her body, which should not be in her body. And the ones who have administered the drug in her body, these are the ones who are guilty.”
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Watch every moment of Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on discovery+.
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