Anna Gasser believes the Kamila Valieva doping allegations should be attributed to "higher authorities", while she said she feels sorry for the teenage figure skater.

Valieva endured a controversial Winter Olympics after being allowed to compete despite a positive test for the banned substance trimetazidine coming to light.

The 15-year-old managed gold in the team event prior to the controversy and was favourite in the singles competition, but an error-strewn performance saw her finish fourth.

Valieva was visibly upset after missing out with her solo routine in Beijing, having come under scrutiny for much of the week on and off the ice.

Big Air gold medallist Gasser expressed her support for Valieva, who was able to continue her participation due to her age, while questioning those in power if the doping allegations are proved to be true.

"It hasn't affected me, but you still kind of suffer with her," Gasser told Stats Perform when asked about the situation.

"Doping in our sports is not that big of an issue because there's not really a lot to dope. But I was thinking, this girl is 15 years old. 

"She was one of the favourites and had pressure already and then there's doping accusations. From a humane perspective, I felt sorry for her. 

"Then she finished fourth as a big favourite. I think that both ice skating and figure skating are a tough sport. I think she has touched many people because you could see how hard the situation was for her. 

"Her coach's reactions were also kind of cold towards her. At 15 years old, I don't think you can actively do doping at that age. This must have been done by higher authorities if these allegations become reality."

Gasser is not the first to comment on the reaction from Valieva's coach Eteri Tutberidze, who reportedly asked her "why did you stop fighting?" in reference to an initial mistake on the teenager's opening triple axel, with International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach also suggesting Tutberidze's reaction was "chilling".

Valieva remains the subject of an anti-doping investigation and her entourage – including doctors, coaches and other adults surrounding her – are also being investigated.

Aside from the controversy surrounding Valieva, Gasser insisted that the competition to retain her Olympic crown was much tougher than four years ago.

"Well, I knew it would be very hard to defend this gold medal because the sport keeps on getting younger, there's a lot of pressure from the young ones," she added. 

"On the other hand, the young ones have pushed me to my limit and inspired me. I have developed because of them. And that was very beautiful because I think you can empower each other that way. 

"And I have to say that sports-wise, defending the gold medal this year was a bit harder and more challenging than the gold medal from four years ago. Back then, I had quite a gap over my competitors. This time, it was quite balanced."

Norway did not add to their golden haul on Saturday at the Winter Olympics, but they cannot now be caught at the top of the medal table.

Nearest rivals Germany, four behind Norway's all-time record haul of 15 golds, are involved in only three of the five medal events on Sunday's final day of the Beijing Games.

Germany's 11th gold of the games arrived when Laura Nolte and Deborah Levi completed victory in the two-woman bobsleigh, ahead of compatriots Mariama Jamanka and Alexandra Burghardt.

It was almost a 1-2-3 for Germany, only for Americans Elana Meyers Taylor and Sylvia Hoffman to take bronze, with Kim Kalicki and Lisa Buckwitz having to settle for fourth place.

China sit third overall after Sui Wenjing and Han Cong delivered gold in the mixed pairs figure skating, fending off the Russian pair of Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov to earn the hosts a ninth triumph of the Games.

Norway's only medal of the day came in the men's cross-country mass start, which was shortened from 50km to 30km due to extreme weather, as Simen Hegstad Krueger took bronze.

Sweden won an eighth gold, a new Winter Olympics best for the nation, as their men's curling team, led by skip Niklas Edin, earned a 5-4 win over Great Britain in the final.

The silver put Team GB on the medal table for the first time, in a tie for 24th place, with either gold or silver to follow on Sunday in the women's curling.

Medal table:

1. Norway (G15 S8 B12, Total: 35)
2. Germany (G11 S8 B5, Total: 24)
3. China (G9 S4 B2, Total: 15)
4. United States (G8 S9 B7, Total: 24)
5. Sweden (G8 S5 B5, Total: 18)
6. Netherlands (G8 S5 B4, Total: 17)
7. Switzerland (G7 S2 B5, Total: 14)
8. Russian Olympic Committee (G6 S11 B14, Total: 31)
9. Austria (G6 S7 B4, Total: 17)
10. France (G5 S7 B2, Total: 14)

Two of the great under-performers of the 2022 Winter Olympics could strike gold on the final Saturday of the Games.

Star US skier Mikaela Shiffrin has endured a dismal fortnight, and the same can be said for the Great Britain team as a whole.

All this could change, as Shiffrin bids to end her Beijing campaign on a high with a first medal at her sixth attempt, while Team GB are guaranteed at least silver in men's and women's curling. They have yet to appear on the medal table, with curling proving the team's salvation.

Sweden will face Slovakia in the men's ice hockey bronze medal game, ahead of Sunday's final between Finland and Russian Olympic Committee.

Here, Stats Perform takes a look at Saturday's gold medal events.

Alpine skiing

Shiffrin remarked that she felt "like a joke" after failing to finish the women's combined – a third DNF of her difficult trip to China. She has also had a ninth place and an 18th, so Shiffrin has a lot on the line in the mixed team parallel slalom.

The event is part of the Olympic programme for just the second time, with Switzerland defending their title and Norway the reigning world champions.

It sees skiers race one another, two at a time, on side-by-side and identical slalom courses, with the first to reach the finish line scoring for their team. Each team contains two men and two women, who race against rivals of the same gender, with 16 teams entered and the competition operating in a knockout mode, with quarter-final places on offer to the first-round winners.

Bobsleigh

Germany lead the way in the battle for the top of the podium after two of the four heats staged so far, with the sled piloted by Laura Nolte in gold medal position, ahead of defending champion Mariama Jamanka.

That creates the possibility of a German one-two, although the USA's Elana Meyers Taylor sat third with aspirations of improving on that position going into Saturday, when the competition concludes.

Cross-country skiing

Finland's Iivo Niskanen is the reigning champion in the 50km mass start and has a gold, silver and bronze from Beijing, but he is sitting out Saturday's event.

There are a host of challengers lining up to succeed Niskanen as champion. Among them, Russian Olympic Committee's Alexander Bolshunov will be looking to improve on his silver from 2018 and add to his four medals accrued so far in Beijing.

Norway's Simen Hegstad Krueger and Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo could also be in the mix, along with the likes of Bolshunov's team-mate Denis Spitsov.

Curling

Standing between Bruce Mouat's Team GB rink and the gold medal are a strong Sweden team, led by skip and former army tank commander Niklas Edin.

Edin was not mincing his words when he described the showdown as "a clash of the titans in our sport".

Great Britain edged their round-robin tussle 7-6 in Beijing but also have recent experience of losing to Sweden. Competing as Scotland, the GB men were beaten 10-5 by the Swedes in the 2021 World Championship final.

Edin said of Saturday's match: "It might be nerve-wracking, but it's going to be a super well-played game. For the last couple of years they've probably been the most consistent team. And in championships over the past seven, eight years we've been the most consistent team."

Sweden also feature in Saturday's women's bronze medal game, taking on Switzerland, after losing 12-11 to Great Britain in Friday's semi-final.

Figure skating

China's Sui Wenjing and Han Cong set the highest score ever achieved by a duo in a short programme to edge ahead in the pairs skating on Friday, with Saturday's free skating to come.

Their score of 84.41 points eclipsed that of Russian Olympic Committee's Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov (84.25), with a second Russian pair consisting of world champions Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov in third.

China have won gold in the pairs once before, when Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo, a married couple, triumphed on the Vancouver ice in 2010.

Freestyle skiing

New Zealand have taken a gold and silver from Beijing so far, both going to snowboard marvel Zoi Sadowski-Synnott. Now freeski world champion Nico Porteous will look to follow her lead and reach the podium in the men's halfpipe final.

Porteous will compete in a field otherwise made up of competitors from the United States and Canada, and by setting the second-best score in qualifying has already served a reminder of his medal credentials.

US star Aaron Blunck led the way in qualifying, with another American, Birk Irving, in third. But perhaps all eyes should be on David Wise, winner of this event at the last two Games. At the age of 31, Wise is chasing a hat-trick, and posting the fourth-best score in qualifying suggests the man from Reno, Nevada, should not be discounted.

Speed skating

Action on the speed skating rink wraps up on Saturday with the men's and women's mass start events.

Korea's Lee Seung Hoon is the men's defending champion and is joined in the field by the silver medallist from four years ago, Belgium's Bart Swings. The last time Belgium won a Winter Olympics gold was in the pairs figure skating at the 1948 Games in St Moritz. American Joey Mantia is another with serious designs on gold.

In the women's event, the Dutch duo of Irene Schouten and Marijke Groenewoud are likely to be there or thereabouts, along with Canada's Ivanie Blondin and Italy's Francesca Lollobrigida.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach says it was "chilling" to see the way Kamila Valieva was treated by her coach after falling in her figure skating routine.

Valieva was left visibly upset after making a number of errors as she missed out on a place on the podium in Thursday's singles event at the Winter Olympics.

The 15-year-old had been on course to win the title after Tuesday's short programme, having controversially been cleared to compete despite testing positive for trimetazidine in December.

However, the immense pressure Valieva has been under in Beijing appeared to have taken its toll as she could only finish fourth after a score of 141.83 for her final routine had her 224.09 overall at the Capital Indoor Stadium.

Anna Shcherbakova took gold with a combined score of 255.95 and fellow 17-year-old Alexandra Trusova made it a Russian Olympic Committee one-two, with Kaori Sakamoto of Japan claiming bronze.

However, rather than comfort Valieva, coach Eteri Tutberidze instead reportedly asked her "why did you stop fighting?" in reference to an initial mistake on the teenager's opening triple axel.

Speaking at a news conference on Friday, IOC chief Bach confirmed the organisation was concerned.

"There is a very sad story about Kamila Valieva," Bach said. "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.

"Rather than giving her comfort, rather than trying to help her. You could feel this chilling atmosphere, this distance. If you were interpreting the body language, it got even worse. It was even dismissive.

"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.

"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 hope she has the support of her friends and family to help her through this difficult situation."

Valieva won team gold last week before her failed drugs test came to light, which prompted calls for the youngster to be thrown out of the Games.

A Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling allowed Valieva to compete in the singles, but she is still the subject of an anti-doping investigation and her entourage – including doctors, coaches and other adults surrounding her – are also being investigated.

Norway extended their lead atop the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics medal table with another gold in the Nordic Combined on Thursday.

Erik Valnes and Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo secured gold in the men's cross-country skiing sprint event on Wednesday, and a day later Norway took first place in the men's team Gundersen large hill/4x5km race.

Norway had suffered the blow of being without Jarl Magnus Riiber due to coronavirus, but the team led by four-time Olympic champion Joergen Graabak ultimately coasted to a comfortable win just under 55 seconds ahead of Germany.

Although that was Norway's only medal of any kind on the day, it was enough to increase their lead to four over 10-gold Germany, who – like the United States in third (eight) – did not get any event wins on Thursday.

It was a good day for Canada as well, who beat USA 3-2 in the women's ice hockey final to clinch their fourth gold.

They also took silver in the women's ski cross big final through Marielle Thompson while Sweden's Sandra Naeslund claimed gold, moving them up to fourth ahead of hosts China.

The Russian Olympic Committee had a bittersweet conclusion in the women's figure skating singles. They took gold and silver with Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova, respectively, but 15-year-old Kamila Valieva finished outside the medals despite leading the standings after Tuesday's short program routine.

Switzerland stayed one clear of the Russians and moved level on six golds with Austria and the Netherlands when Michelle Gisin took the women's Alpine combined slalom ahead of compatriot Wendy Holdener.

And the final gold of the day went to Japan and Miho Takagi, who finally got the victory she wanted after three silvers at these Games.

She emerged victorious in the women's 1,000 metres speed skating, setting a new Olympic record of one minute, 13.19 seconds.

Medal table:

1. Norway (G14 S7 B8, Total: 29)
2. Germany (G10 S7 B5, Total: 22)
3. United States (G8 S8 B5, Total: 21)
4. Sweden (G7 S4 B4, Total: 15)
5. China (G7 S4 B2, Total: 13)
6. Austria (G6 S7 B4, Total: 17)
7. Netherlands (G6 S5 B4, Total: 15)
8. Switzerland (G6 S1 B5, Total: 12)
9. Russian Olympic Committee (G5 S9 B12, Total: 26)
10. France (G4 S7 B2, Total: 13)

Kamila Valieva was inconsolable after the Russian teenager endured a nightmare free skating routine to slip off the podium at the Winter Olympics.

Valieva had been on course to win the figure skating singles title after Tuesday's short programme, having controversially being cleared to compete despite failing a drugs test.

However, the immense pressure the 15-year-old has been under in Beijing appeared to have taken its toll as she fell on multiple occasions in an error-strewn performance on Thursday.

Valieva, who tested positive for trimetazidine after a test taken in December, could only finish fourth after a score of 141.83 for her final routine have her 224.09 overall at the Capital Indoor Stadium.

Anna Shcherbakova [255.95] took gold and Alexandra Trusova made it a Russian Olympic Committee one-two, with Kaori Sakamoto of Japan taking bronze.

Shcherbakova said: "The importance of this is so huge that I cannot fully understand it yet. At the moment I have only felt the happiness from the fact that I was able to do everything I am capable of in my programme.

"I still haven't realised that the competition has finished and this is the result. I haven't understood what has happened."

Valieva was reduced to tears after she was unable to claim a second medal. She won team gold last week before her failed drugs test came to light and prompted calls for the youngster to be thrown out of the Games.

Drink wine, ski fast - Gisin reveals winning formula

Michelle Gisin led a Switzerland women's Alpine combined one-two ahead of Wendy Holdener, with Federica Brignone taking bronze for Italy.

Gisin was 12th after the downhill but surged to the top of the podium following a rapid slalom run of 52.25 seconds, and revealed a drop of wine helped her claim gold on the back of a super-G bronze.

She said: "I had a glass of wine before the super-G with Loic (Meillard) and Luca Aerni and after the super-G they wrote on my door: 'Drink wine: ski fast'.

"So I drank a glass of wine with them again yesterday, of course."

Mikaela Shiffrin was left feeling "like a joke" after the American recorded her third DNF of the Games.


Canada dethrone USA to claim 'insane' ice hockey gold

It was Canada's day as they beat fierce rivals the United States in the women's ice hockey final, gaining sweet revenge for their loss in the gold-medal match four years ago.

The Canadians came out on top 3-2 at the Wukesong Sports Centre to win gold for a fifth time, and for a fourth time they did it at the expense of their old foes.

Sarah Nurse scored her fifth goal of the tournament and also broke the record for most points (18) and most assists (13) in a women's Olympic ice hockey competition.

Canada forward Sarah Fillier said: "It is insane. I can't stop shaking. It's a dream come true. I don't think I can find the words. I'm still shaking."


Persistence pays off for Takagi

Miho Takagi finally added an individual gold medal to her collection in the women's 1,000 metres, some 12 years after making her Olympic debut, adding to the three silvers she has won in these Games.

The Japanese speed skater clocked an Olympic record time of one minute, 13.19 seconds to strike gold.

A smiling Takagi said: ""I remembered what my older sister 'Nana' said to me this morning, 'It’s amazing if you win four silvers'.

"But I wasn’t able to accept any kind of pressure from outside. All I was thinking about was to finish the race, and start really well. I thought I would just go for it."

Kamila Valieva was in tears after an error-strewn routine cost her a medal in the Winter Olympics figure skating singles competition in Beijing.

The 15-year-old Russian had led the standings following Tuesday's short program routine, having been controversially cleared to compete despite testing positive for performance-enhancing drug trimetazidine.

Valieva was unable to add to the gold medal she won in the team event, though, as she made a string of mistakes under huge pressure at the Capital Indoor Stadium on Thursday.

The teenager fell three times and was distraught after failing to secure a place on the podium, with a score of 141.83 for her final routine - and 224.09 overall - leaving her in fourth place.

There was stunned silence before and after Valieva left the ice to warm applause following such a difficult time for the Kazan-born youngster.

Valieva's team-mate Anna Shcherbakova took gold after she was awarded a score of 175.75 for a classy routine, taking her overall total to 255.95.

Alexandra Trusova made it a Russian Olympic Committee one-two after she produced the best routine of the day, earning a score of 177.13 to finish on 251.73, and Kaori Sakamoto of Japan took silver.

Valieva was inconsolable as her coach attempted to comfort her, having come under such huge scrutiny this week on and off the ice.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has denied applying double standards towards American and Russian athletes amid the Kamila Valieva doping scandal.

Russian teenager Valieva was controversially cleared to go for a second gold of the Beijing Winter Olympics this week despite testing positive for performance-enhancing drug trimetazidine in December.

Valieva won a team figure skating gold last week before her positive test was revealed and is on course to win the singles title on Thursday after leading the way in the short program routine on Tuesday.

The 15-year-old was given the green light to compete at the Capital Indoor Stadium due to "exceptional circumstances", largely due to the her age ensuring she is considered to be a "protected person" under World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules.

American sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson was incensed by that decision, as she was banned from competing in the Tokyo Olympics last year after testing positive for cannabis.

Richardson claimed to have had smoked marijuana after discovering from a reporter that her biological mother had died.

She cited racial discrimination for being unable to go for gold in Japan and questioned how her positive test came to light so quickly compared to Valieva's.

IOC spokesperson Mark Adams on Wednesday stated that the two cases should not be compared.

"You can't talk about double standards in relation to Russian and American athletes, each case is individual," he said.

"Richardson's positive doping test was discovered on June 19, and the result was received before the start of the Olympics. She was suspended for a month. There is nothing in common between these two cases."

Adams confirmed there will be an asterisk placed against the women's figure skating competition in Beijing until Valieva's doping case is concluded and expressed sympathy for the teenager.

"This Games, which has not concluded, concerns an issue in December," he said. "She is in the centre of a lot of speculation. It must be very tough for her.

"We of course are in touch with the team, her welfare is the team's first priority, and obviously we are very careful of that but there's only so much that we can do."

Corinne Suter won downhill gold and Sofia Goggia claimed an astonishing Olympic silver medal in Beijing on Tuesday less than a month after a huge crash.

Suter mastered the 'Rock course' at the Yanqing National Alpine Skiing Centre to top the podium after crossing the line in a time of one minute, 31.87 seconds.

The Swiss world champion suffered a nasty pre-season training accident in Zermatt back in September, but revealed she took inspiration from the great Lindsey Vonn to win the blue riband event.

Suter said: "My head was not really good from the beginning of the season. It's always difficult when you have such a hard crash because you think, 'yeah it's okay', but it's not."

She added: "From the first training run I really liked the slope here and also the snow is really good. Also I [was] watching today the runs from her (Vonn) all the time. She's my biggest idol."

Goggia could surely never have envisaged winning a medal just 23 days after a crash in Cortina left her with a damaged cruciate ligament and a fractured left leg, yet the Italian was only 0.16secs slower than Suter and she was joined on the podium by compatriot Nadia Delago.

An elated Goggia said: "I came here with no days of skiing. I also crashed in super-G training and I said to my coach: ‘I cannot do this, I cannot do this. How can I make it to the downhill if I cannot put my leg down?’ And he said: ‘You will do it because you know how to do it.'"

Goggia added: "I found an incredible strength inside of myself...I was travelling by a sort of light."

Valieva on course for controversial gold 

Russian teenager Kamila Valieva started her quest to win a controversial figure skating singles gold medal by recovering a mistake to take the lead.

The 15-year-old was contentiously cleared to go for the individual title on Monday despite the revelation that she had tested positive for performance-enhancing drug trimetazidine in December

After helping the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) secure team figure skating gold last week, Valieva headed into the individual event as the favourite to take the title.

Valieva failed to land a triple axel after being cheered onto the ice for her short program routine, but put that behind her to earn a score of 82.16 from the judges. 

She looked very emotional on the ice after such a difficult time for the youngster, who could have found herself thrown out of the Games.

Fellow Russian Anna Shcherbakova is in second spot following her score of 80.20, with Kaori Sakamoto (79.84) of Japan in third heading into the free skate on Thursday.

 

Riiber's Beijing nightmare takes a huge turn for the worse

Norway increased their lead at the top of the medal table, but Jarl Magnus Riiber endured a Nordic combined nightmare.

The 24-year-old spent two weeks isolating in a hotel room after testing positive for coronavirus when he arrived in China, but was on course to win gold a day after coming out quarantine.

The Norwegian topped the ski jump standings on the large hill and held a lead of 44 seconds at the start of the 10-kilometre cross-country skiing race.

Riiber literally lost his way, though, as he headed for the finishing line at the end of the first of four laps, rather than starting another loop.

After realising what he later described as "a silly mistake", Riiber turned back in a hasty retreat, but his advantage had been cut to barely 10 seconds.

He ended up finishing eighth as compatriot Joergen Graabak was crowned champion, and Riiber was left to reflect on a massive gaffe.

 

Debutants Denmark into last eight 

Denmark will face ROC in the quarter-finals of the men's ice hockey competition after beating Latvia 3-2 at the Wukesong Sports Centre.

The Danes are competing in this event for the first time and they are making their presence felt, with goalkeeper Sebastian Dahm describing the defeat of Latvia as "the biggest result in Danish ice hockey."

Germany, silver medallists in PyeongChang four years ago, are out after a 4-0 defeat by Slovakia, who will face the United States in the last eight.

Canada and Sweden will do battle for a place in the semi-finals, while Finland take on Switzerland.

Kamila Valieva showed her emotions under the spotlight after putting herself on course for a controversial figure skating singles gold medal in Beijing on Tuesday.

The 15-year-old Russian was contentiously cleared to go for the individual title on Monday despite testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

Valieva was given the green light to compete at the Capital Indoor Stadium due to "exceptional circumstances", largely due to the teenager's age ensuring she is considered to be a "protected person" under World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules.

After helping the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) secure team figure skating gold last week, Valieva headed into the individual event as the favourite to take the title.

The Kazan-born sensation, who tested positive for trimetazidine in December, was cheered when she skated out to begin her short program routine.

Valieva made a mistake when she failed to land a triple axel but put that behind her like a champion to ensure she leads heading into the free skate on Thursday.

She avoided hitting the deck when making that error and showed her class to earn a score of 82.16 from the judges. 

Valieva looked very emotional on the ice after a difficult time for the youngster, who could have found herself thrown out of the Games.

Fellow Russian Anna Shcherbakova is in second spot following her score of 80.20, with Kaori Sakamoto (79.84) of Japan in third.

Denis Oswald, chair of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) disciplinary commission, revealed earlier in the day that Valieva claimed she may have failed a drugs test after accidentally consuming medication belonging to her grandfather.

"Her argument was contamination which happened with a product her grandfather was taking," Oswald told reporters.

Trimetazidine is a medication that prevents angina attacks but is banned by WADA because it aids blood flow to the heart.

Teenage Winter Olympics star Kamila Valieva may have failed a drugs test after accidentally consuming medication belonging to her grandfather, it has been claimed.

Denis Oswald, chair of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) disciplinary commission, said on Tuesday this was a theory put forward by the 15-year-old Russian figure skater.

"Her argument was contamination which happened with a product her grandfather was taking," Oswald told reporters in Beijing.

Valieva, 15, helped the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) claim team figure skating gold last week, and she headed into the individual event on Tuesday as a big favourite to triumph there too.

She was cleared to compete by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which stated that it was appropriate that a provisional suspension had been lifted.

That was after the IOC, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Skating Union (ISU) appealed to CAS against a decision by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) to let Valieva skate.

The youngster tested positive in December for trimetazidine, a medication that prevents angina attacks but is banned by WADA because it aids blood flow to the heart.

Oswald said the IOC would respect the CAS ruling and said Valieva's B sample had not yet been examined.

He did not apportion any blame but said the IOC would push for Valieva's entourage to face investigation over the saga.

Speaking in a news conference, Oswald said: "It's clearly a wish and a decision of the IOC, but also mainly on WADA, to examine all aspects of this case, including the situation of the entourage of the girl, because of course you can imagine a girl of 15 would not do something wrong alone. Yes, the entourage will be investigated."

Oswald played down the prospect of any sense of this being a repeat of state-sponsored doping, as experienced previously with Russian competitors, most notoriously at their home Winter Olympics in Sochi eight years ago.

"My impression from what I have seen and heard is that there is no connection with the institutionalised doping we had in Sochi," Oswald said.

"It seems to be a totally different case, but it is difficult to have an opinion without having all the details."

It was a historic moment for more than one reason on Monday when Kaillie Humphries secured the gold medal in the women's monobob event.

Humphries switched allegiance from Canada to the United States in 2019 amid a divisive separation, but only became a naturalised US citizen and received a passport in December.

The 36-year-old previously won two golds and a bronze for Canada across the past three Games, and became the first female to win a Winter Olympics title for two different nations.

She is the second athlete overall to do so after speed skater Viktor An had done the same for South Korea and Russia.

As well as that achievement, Humphries also became the first ever gold medallist in the women's monobob event, which appeared at the Olympics for the first time, with a dominant victory at the National Sliding Centre in an overall time of four minutes, 19.27 seconds.

That's not all, though. Stats Perform has more numbers behind the success of Humphries and others in Beijing.

4 - Humphries and fellow American and silver medallist Elana Meyers Taylor have equalled Bogdan Musiol, Wolfgang Hoppe and Kevin Kuske (Germany) as the only bobsledders to medal at four different Winter Games. Meyers Taylor becomes the fourth athlete representing the United States to win a medal at four different Winter Games.

3 - Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron took gold for France in the ice dance having won silver at PyeongChang 2018. This is the third time in a row the Olympic title has been won by the pair who took silver in the previous edition, after Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States in 2014, and Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada in 2018.

1 - Xu Mengtao of China won the gold medal in women's aerials on Monday to add to her silver in mixed team aerials. She becomes the first freestyle skier to win two medals at a single Olympic Winter Games.

50 - Xu's was the 50th gold medal awarded in freestyle skiing in Winter Olympics history. It was just the third won by China, with Canada claiming the most (12) followed by the United States (11).

3 - Austria's gold in the men's team ski jumping was their third in the event at the Olympics, after Turin 2006 and Vancouver 2010. This equals Germany, who also have three titles, and won bronze in Beijing on Monday. Both Austria and Germany now have seven overall medals in the team event.

The United States will meet Canada in the final of the women's ice hockey after the two favourites progressed from their semi-finals at the Winter Olympics.

While the USA defeated Finland 4-1, Canada made light work of their semi-final opponents Switzerland, cruising to a 10-3 rout on Monday.

The respective victories tee up a repeat of the 2018 Olympic final, which the USA won via a shoot-out.

Canada have been the form team in this tournament, however, and beat the USA 4-2 in the group stage.

In fact, the Canadians – who have won a medal in every Olympic Games since women's ice hockey was introduced in 1998 and claimed gold in four straight editions between 2002 and 2014 – have scored 54 times, only conceding eight goals in return.

"It is our dream to be there, that is huge for us," explained captain Marie-Philip Poulin, who is in the hunt for her third Olympic gold. "It will be fun. The team is ready.

"We really appreciate it. The smiles at the end of the game, when our young players came off the ice, was pretty awesome. You can see how exciting it is. It is not routine."

Canada will be hoping for another big display from their leader in the final. In 2010, she scored both goals in a 2-0 victory in the showpiece, while she also scored the golden goal winner in Sochi four years later.

History for Humphries

One athlete who will perhaps be torn by the United States-Canada rivalry is Kaillie Humphries. 

She won two golds and a bronze for Canada across the past three games but, in 2018, she switched allegiance to the USA, only receiving clearance to compete in Beijing two months ago.

On Monday, the 36-year-old made history, becoming first female to win a Winter Olympics title for two different nations, and the second athlete overall after speed skater Viktor An for South Korea and Russia, after she won the first ever gold medal in the women's monobob, a newly introduced event.

Elana Meyers Taylor completed a one-two for the USA, while Canada clinched bronze thanks to Christine de Bruin.

French pair triumph on the ice

Four-time world champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France won figure skating gold.

They took silver in 2018, meaning that for a third successive Olympics, the ice dance title has been won by a duo that finished second in the previous Games.

Papadakis and Cizeron finished second behind Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov at the European Championships in 2020, but the Russian pair had to settle for silver this time around, with Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue ensuring the USA finished on the podium for the fifth consecutive Games.

"It's sinking in, but before it sinks in, I'll have to lie on the floor and cry," a laughing Papadakis said after claiming France's first gold in the event since 2002. "I am trying to take it all in, very, very, very slowly."

China, Austria add to their tallies

There was more success for hosts China, as ski jumper Xu Mengtao claimed the nation's first gold of the women's aerial events at Beijing.

China had previously won nine medals (seven silver and two bronze), but had never clinched gold – they were already the most decorated nation in the event.

Xu triumphed with a score of 108.61, ahead of Hanna Huskova of Belarus (107.95), with Megan Nick of the United States in third, way behind on 93.76.

Austria also collected a ski jumping gold, with their men's team succeeding. Slovenia came second and Germany took bronze. It is Austria's first gold in the event since 2010.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has scrapped the medal ceremony for the team figure skating event in the wake of the Kamila Valieva verdict.

Valieva, 15, helped the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) claim team figure skating gold last week, and she is a big favourite to win first prize in the individual event, which begins on Tuesday.

However, the teenager had been unsure if she would be able to compete in Tuesday's event after the IOC and the International Testing Agency (ITA) appealed a decision from RUSADA  – Russia's Anti-Doping Agency – to remove a provisional suspension on the athlete.

Valieva tested positive in December for trimetazidine, a medication that prevents angina attacks but is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) because it aids blood flow to the heart.

On Sunday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that Valieva was able to compete, stating that it was appropriate that the provisional suspension had been lifted.

While accepting this decision, the IOC has decided against holding a medal ceremony for the team figure skating, while it has also stated there will be no such celebration should Valieva finish on the podium in the individual event, as is expected.

A statement from the IOC said: "The CAS has clearly expressed that the decision taken by the Ad-hoc Division today is not a decision on whether Ms Valieva violated the anti-doping rules.

"It was limited to the sole question of whether Ms Valieva could be provisionally suspended from the Olympic competition following a positive A-sample taken on 25 December 2021.

"The management of the case after this positive A-sample has not yet been concluded. Only after due process has been followed can it be established whether Ms Valieva infringed the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC) and would have to be sanctioned."

The IOC EB (executive board) has subsequently concluded that: "In the interest of fairness to all athletes and the NOCs concerned, it would not be appropriate to hold the medal ceremony for the figure skating team event during the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 as it would include an athlete who on the one hand has a positive A-sample, but whose violation of the anti-doping rules has not yet been established on the other hand."

The statement also confirmed that the IOC had requested the International Skating Union (ISU) allow a 25th competitor to participate in the free skating event, which takes place on Thursday, if Valieva ranks inside the top 24 in the short program on Tuesday.

However, the IOC has promised to hold "dignified medal ceremonies" once Valieva's case has been fully concluded.

The clearance of Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva to compete at the Winter Olympics has resulted in calls to reform the anti-doping system.

Valieva was cleared by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Monday to compete in Tuesday's individual event – in which she is considered the heavy favourite – despite the teenager's failed drugs test.

The 15-year-old has already helped Russia to team figure skating gold in Beijing.

Valieva tested positive in December for trimetazidine, a medication that prevents angina attacks but is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) because it aids blood flow to the heart.

Her sample that failed was taken on Christmas Day during Russia's national championships, but Valieva could compete at Beijing 2022 after she appealed against the outcome and RUSADA – Russia's Anti-Doping Agency – removed a provisional suspension on February 9.

However, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Testing Agency (ITA) appealed against that ruling, leading to the CAS decision after a long meeting on Sunday in Beijing.

Now, Global Athlete, "an international athlete-led movement that will inspire and lead positive change in world sport", has called for immediate reform.

"Today is another example of the failures of the global sport and anti-doping system," read a statement published on Global Athlete's official website. 

"The fact that Kamila Valieva, a 15-year-old Russian figure skater, has been found to have a performance-enhancing substance in her system is evidence of abuse of a minor. Sport should be protecting its athletes, not damaging them.

"Doping and the trauma of a positive test pose grave physical and psychological risks to all athletes but especially to minors. It is unacceptable that these risks have been placed on a 15-year-old.

"This power imbalance can only be resolved through an equal partnership between athletes and sporting administrators. Athletes must have independent professional representation and the ability to collectively bargain."

Global Athlete went on to criticise WADA, the IOC and CAS for not taking harsher action on Russia in the wake of the doping scandal that resulted in an initial four-year ban for the nation from competing in any global events, including the Olympics and World Cup.

However, upon appeal from RUSADA, CAS allowed Russians to compete under the provision that they must do so as neutral athletes. As such, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) has been represented in Beijing as it was in Tokyo last year.

Global Athlete's statement continued: "It is blatantly clear that Valieva would have never been placed in this position if WADA, the IOC, and CAS had done their jobs and banned Russia from global sport.

"Russia has never been incentivised to reform because sport leaders favoured politics over principle and rebranding over banning.

"Athletes have lost confidence in the global anti-doping system. Calls for reform of WADA have been persistent and loud, but they have been continually cast aside and ignored by those seeking to maintain centralised unaccountable power.

"Sport administrators fear a robust, fully independent, and effective anti-doping system precisely because such a system would hold the perpetrators of institutional doping accountable.

"The doping of Kamila Valieva must be a wake-up call for every fan, parent, and athlete to stand together to demand reform. The doping of minor athletes must be stopped. Any country that systematically dopes its athletes cannot be allowed to participate in international sport. The status quo is no longer acceptable."

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