Kamila Valieva said she was “happy to be on the ice” after the Russian figure skater competed for the first time since falling under the weight of controversy at the Winter Olympics.
Valieva, the 15-year-old Russian figure skater who had been the clear favourite to win gold in the individual event in Beijing, fell several times in the final after it was revealed during the Games that she had tested positive for trimetazidine.
Valieva’s continued participation despite the positive test dominated global news headlines, with the pressure on the teenager eventually telling during her final routine.
After being barred from competing at the world championships this month, Russia organised a coinciding competition of their own, with Valieva making her first competitive appearance since the Games.
She came second with a score of 173.88 points in the free skate programme, narrowly finishing behind Olympic champion Anna Shcherbakova, who scored 176.12.
“I am very happy to be on the ice. I am happy that the Channel One Cup has taken place,” Valieva said.
“Spectators give you energy when you are tired. You keep going thanks to them.”