Kamila Valieva leads after women's short program at Beijing 2022_eye freckle removal uk

Kamila Valieva leads after women's short program at Beijing 2022Kamila Valieva, the Russian Olympic Committee skater at the centre of a doping controversy, did not skate a clean short program but still sits at the top of the field headed into Thursday’s free skate.

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Canada’s Madeline Schizas faltered, sits in 20th place

CBC Sports(Bernat Armangue/The Associated Press)

Kamila Valieva, the Russian Olympic Committee skater at the centre of a doping controversy, did not skate a clean short program but still sits at the top of the field headed into Thursday's free skate.

  • VideoFigure Skating - Women's Short Program

The 15-year-old skater stepped out of the landing of her triple axel, but recovered with a clean triple flip and a triple lutz-triple toe loop combination to garner a score of 82.16, well below her season best of 90.45.

Valieva left the ice overcome with emotion, likely in part due to the less-than-perfect program and in part because of the rocky road to get to the women's short program. The youngest figure skater in competition, she is favoured to win the event after being cleared to compete despite failing a pre-Games drug test, and both current and former athletes have been critical of the decision to allow her to remain in the competition.

Valieva did not speak to reporters after the short program.

WATCH | Teen Kamila Valieva leads controversial women's short program:

Teen Kamila Valieva leads controversial women's short program

14 hours agoDuration 6:24The 15-year-old Russian figure skater posted the top score after it was revealed last week that she tested positive for a banned substance.6:24

Her teammate Anna Shcherbakova, the reigning world champion, did score a personal season best of 80.20 to sit in second place, while Kaori Sakamoto of Japan posted her own season best (79.84) to sit in third place.

Afterward, Shcherbakova said she would "not say anything about this situation," referring to the controversy around Valieva. 

Sakamoto also said she would prefer to focus on her own performance, only saying of Valieva: "Whether it is fair, I am not quite sure."

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Canada's Madeline Schizas faltered in the short program but will advance to the free skate.

Schizas, 19, emerged as the Canadian hero in the team competition last week by scoring season best scores in both the short and long programs. The Oakville, Ont. skater scored a 60.53 after stepping out of a planned triple lutz-triple toe loop combination. She added a double toe loop to her triple loop to salvage a combination, a required element in the short program.

WATCH | Schizas falters in short program, sits in 20th:

Madeline Schizas falters in short program

14 hours agoDuration 6:24The Canadian figure skater scored 60.53 in the short program at Beijing 2022 on Tuesday.6:24

But the score was below the season best of 69.60 that she scored earlier in the Games in the team competition to catapult Canada into the finals and into a fourth-place finish.

"It was kind of an up-and-down performance. There were things I was happy with and there were things I wasn't happy with," Schizas told the CBC's Elladj Baldé. "But sometimes you have days like that and today was one of those days."

Doping scandal far from over

Valieva's positive drug test from last December was only brought to light last week, after she helped the Russian Olympic Committee win a gold medal in the team figure skating competition. The medal ceremony was repeatedly delayed, fuelling speculation of a positive drug test of a team member. Days later, word came down that a Swedish laboratory had found evidence of a banned heart drug in Valieva's system. 

After an emergency hearing held on Sunday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that Valieva should be allowed to compete in the women's competition pending a full investigation. The sporting body cited the fact that Valieva at age 15 is a minor and subject to different rules as an athlete.

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Indeed, while 24 skaters typically qualify for the free skate portion of the competition, 25 skaters were selected to move on because Valieva finished in the top 24.

"I can only speak for myself and that I advocate for clean sporting," said Mariah Bell, who along with U.S. teammates Alysa Liu and Karen Chen advanced to the free skate. "That's the whole idea of the Olympics and our careers, in general."

On Monday, CBC Olympics host Andi Petrillo discussed the women's competition with Canadian Olympic figure skating champion Kaetlyn Osmond, who discussed how the controversy surrounding Valieva will affect her competitors.

WATCH | Kaetlyn Osmond previews controversial women's figure skating event:

Kaetlyn Osmond previews controversial women's figure skating event

1 day agoDuration 3:23The Canadian Olympic figure skating champion breaks down how the controversy surrounding Kamila Valieva will affect her competitors at Beijing 2022.3:23

The free program portion of the Beijing 2022 women's competition, when medals are handed out, is scheduled for Thursday. However, as was the case with the team competition, there will not be a medal ceremony if Valieva ends up on the podium.

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All the action will be streamed live on CBC Gem, the CBC Sports app and CBC Sports' Beijing 2022 website.

WATCH | Oral History: Joannie Rochette, a skate for mom:

Oral History: Joannie Rochette, a skate for mom

1 month agoDuration 8:14Just days before she was to compete at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, Joannie Rochette lost her mother to a sudden heart attack. Still grieving her loss, the Canadian figure skater put on the performance of her life, winning an Olympic bronze medal.Canada misses podium in figure skating team event despite Schizas setting another personal best

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