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Featured Image Credit: Chang W. Lee/The New York Times
Teenage figure skating star Kamila Valieva has broken her silence following the Winter Olympics scandal that saw her and her ROC teammates denied gold.
The 15-year-old came into the Olympics expected to dominate, and it appeared that would be the case when she won gold apart of the teams' event.
But that was when the scandal began as Valieva, the ROC team and the other medallists weren't awarded their medals after someone had tested positive for a banned substance.
That someone soon turned out to be Valieva with Russian newspapers RBC and Kommersant revealing she had tested positive to Trimetazidine, a drug used to treat angina - a chest pain caused by lack of blood flow to the heart - but it was soon argued it was her grandfather's medication she had accidentally ingested.
Given the circumstances surrounding the ordeal, Valieva was allowed to continue to compete but after needing to go through a court case to compete in the individual program as well as the criticism from across the world and expectation as the favourite to claim gold, Valieva fell several times during her free skate, ultimately finishing fourth.
With the Games now over, Valieva has paid special mention to her coaches, Eteri Tutberidze and Daniil Gleikhengauz, for standing by her side throughout the ordeal.
"You are absolute masters at what you do! You not only train, but also teach how to overcome yourself, which helps not only in sport but also in life," Valieva wrote on social media.
"With you by my side, I feel protected and able to overcome any ordeals. Thank you for helping me to be strong."
However, US commentator Tara Lipinski believed that the youngster should have received more support throughout her Games campaign.
"I can't imagine how tough this has been on Kamila and it makes me angry that the adults weren't able to make better decisions and guide her and be there for her because she is the one now dealing with the consequences," Lipinski said.