Winter Olympics 2022 Live: News, Results and Updates from Beijing

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Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

The president of the International Olympic Committee on Friday called the treatment of a teenage Russian figure skater by her coaches “chilling” a day after the skater, Kamila Valieva, tumbled out of medal contention at the Beijing Olympics with an error-strewn performance in the women’s singles competition. The comments quickly drew an angry response from a top Russian government official.

Breaking his silence on the Valieva case more than a week after it was first revealed that the 15-year-old skater had tested positive for a banned drug, the president, Thomas Bach, shared at a news conference in Beijing that he had been uncomfortable watching the young Olympian melt down during her free skate Thursday night. Valieva had entered the night as the gold medal favorite but stumbled and fell repeatedly to sink to fourth place and miss out on a medal entirely.

“I was very, very disturbed yesterday when I watched the competition on TV,” Bach said a day after the end of the women’s competition. The remarks were his first public comments on Valieva’s case since the news of her positive test early last week became the dominant story line of the Games.

“You could feel that this is an immense, immense mental stress,” Bach added, “and maybe she would have preferred to leave the ice and to leave this story behind her.”

Russia’s deputy prime minister, Dmitry Chernyshenko, quickly responded, saying Bach’s comments were “inappropriate and wrong.”

Valieva, whose Olympics became a crucible of expectations, innuendo and pressure after it was revealed she had failed a doping test before the Games, was in tears after her performance. Her anguish only grew when she left the ice and her coach, Eteri Tutberidze, immediately began interrogating her in Russian in a scene that was captured by television cameras.

“Why did you stop fighting?” Tutberidze asked. “Explain it to me. Why? You let it go after that axel.” Valieva did not reply.

Tutberidze was the coach of all three Russian women competing in the women’s singles final. After Valieva tearfully finished her free skate, her teammate Anna Shcherbakova, the gold medal winner, sat alone on a white sofa, looking solemn despite her victory. She later said she felt empty inside. Alexandra Trusova, the silver medalist, disappointed that she hadn’t won, resisted coaches who tried to urge her onto the ice for the winners’ ceremony. Trusova later said she missed her mother and her dogs.

Bach said it was “chilling” to see the coldness with which Valieva was received by Tutberidze and other Russian skating officials after her performance.

“All of this does not give me confidence in this entourage of Kamila,” Bach said, “neither with regard to what happened in the past, nor as far as it concerns the future.”

In an emailed statement, Chernyshenko, Russia’s deputy prime minister, said he was “deeply disappointed” to see Bach “weave his own fictional narrative on the feelings of our athletes, and then present these publicly as the voice of I.O.C.”

Bach and Chernyshenko know each other well. Chernyshenko was the president of the local organizing committee for the 2014 Sochi Games, and he was on an Olympic organizing committee for the Beijing Games before he was removed after Russia’s state-sanctioned doping scheme at the Sochi Games was revealed.

The Russian sports minister, Oleg Matytsin, defended his nation’s coaches in comments reported by the Russian television network RT.

“The personality of a trainer largely determines the results of the athletes. We have gold in the team competition,” Matytsin said, though no medal has been awarded in team figure skating because of Valieva’s positive test. He said Russia had also won “gold and silver in the individual competition, a silver medal in dancing, and I hope that there will be medals in the pairs as well.”

The Court of Arbitration for Sport allowed Valieva to continue competing in the Olympics despite her having tested positive for a banned substance, a heart medication, several weeks before the Games.

Bach’s I.O.C., along with the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Skating Union, the sport’s governing body, had filed an appeal with the court seeking a suspension for Valieva.

The court dismissed their appeal in large part, it said in a report released Thursday, because of a failure by a Stockholm laboratory to process Valieva’s sample quickly.

She still could face penalties, but it could take months to fully resolve her case.