Medal deprivation… “Empress of Russia” who made Varyeva weep, and her horrifying drug remarks.
The figure skating prodigy is about to receive a heavy punishment.
On November 14, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had notified Russia’s Kamila Valieva, 16, of Russia, to be suspended for four years and stripped of her team gold medal at the Beijing Olympics (held this February). Immediately after winning the team gold medal, Walyeva tested positive for doping. She was heavily criticized for her performance, and she was considered one of the favorites to win the women’s singles title, but ended up finishing in fourth place.
Her coach, Eteri Tutvelidze (48), was the one who pushed Waliyeva to the brink of disappointment. After the singles competition, she came back from the rink and asked him, “You gave up the fight, didn’t you?
You gave up the fight. Why did you give up? Why don’t you fight? Explain it to me.”
During the “kiss and cry,” as they waited for the scores to be announced, Tutberlise reprimanded Walyeva. Unable to resist, Walyeva covered her face and broke down in tears.
Tutberlise was very harsh. Instead of consoling Walyeva, who had been mentally trapped, Tutberlise harshly chastised her. She was at a loss for words and kept crying with a frustrated look on her face.
Both first and second place went to the Russians, but the atmosphere in the hall was very tense. Alexandra Trusova, who won the silver medal, refused a hug from Tutvelyse and said, “I hate this sport! I will never stand on the ice again,” she complained to the press. I’m not happy with the result at all. I’m not happy at all. I want to think about my future before I make a decision.
Training grounds are “factories” and players are “materials.
Tutvelidze is an absolute leader, known in Russia as the “Empress” and “Queen of Ice. Her students include Alina Zagitova, gold medalist at the 2006 Pyeongchang Olympics, and Evgenia Medvedeva, silver medalist at the same games. However, many athletes have dropped out because they could not keep up with Tutvelyse’s strict coaching.
He calls the training grounds a ‘factory’ and the athletes ‘materials,’ and he gives them thorough management guidance, even down to their personal lives,” Tutberlise said. They are taught how to put on makeup, how to walk, and even how to talk. …… Before the Beijing Olympics, he was interviewed by a Russian TV station and said the following: “If you don’t coach them strictly, they won’t be able to win medals. If I don’t coach them strictly, they won’t be able to win medals. If an athlete does not perform as I want, I feel very frustrated and scold him or her.
When Medvedeva misses a jump in practice, he says, “Do you like to make mistakes? Then I will help you fall down. After the PyeongChang Olympics, Zagitova, who received guidance, said, ‘I’m always anxious. I’m burnt out,’ she said, and temporarily withdrew from competition. In May of last year, she was removed from Russia’s designated athletes list.
Tutvelidze controls the athletes not only in terms of their training regimen but also in terms of their weight in 100g increments. Even if she had used drugs, it is hard to imagine that she would have done so on her own. Rumors have been circulating that Tutberlise and others in the Russian figure world may have been involved in an organized way.
In fact, in an interview with the Russian popular newspaper “Moskovsky Komsomolets” in 1919, Tutberlise said the following about the drug “Meldonium,” which was banned by WADA.
Meldonium was a substitute for vitamins. We knew that the day would come when we would not be able to use meldonium. Athletes need vitamins to recover from fatigue. We need to find a new drug.
Trimetazidine, which Waliyeva is suspected of using, is said to have similar effects to meldonium, such as improving endurance. In addition, Polina Edmund, a former figure skater from the U.S., gave a startling testimony to the Russian media outlet “Championad” at the Junior GP Finals in Fukuoka, Japan, in 2001.
The Russian girls showed up with their coach, took out a small bottle-like container and put a few drops of liquid in their mouths with a dropper. They were cracking some jokes and laughing.
As soon as they got on the rink, the girls began their triple jumps. They stretched and relaxed their bodies, even though it took me more than 15 minutes before I could jump. …… But the Russian girls showed no signs of fatigue and performed for 40 minutes. I have never seen such tough athletes in my life.
What kind of decision will CAS make? Depending on the outcome, the fate of the girl prodigy and the state of the Russian sports world will be greatly affected.
Photo： Jiji Press