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Tutberidze ‘baffled’ by Bach criticism

Russian figure skating coach Eteri Tutberidze says she’s baffled by harsh criticism from IOC President Thomas Bach about how she treated skater Kamila Valieva.

Bach was scathing on Friday about how Tutberidze and the rest of the entourage reacted after Valieva, who was allowed to compete despite a positive doping test, had fallen twice and finished fourth.

Bach said he was “disturbed” by the “the tremendous coldness” Valieva received from her entourage after the competition, saying it did “not give me much confidence in the closest entourage of Kamila.”

Valieva was in tears after her performance on Thursday and Tutberidze confronted her in the “kiss and cry” area.

“When I afterwards saw how she was received by her close entourage … it was chilling to see this,” Bach said.

Some Russian officials have dismissed the criticism and Tutberidze then also took to social media.

“I am still baffled by the assessment of our work from the respected Mr Bach,” Tutberidze said on Instagram.

She also expressed support for an open letter from Russian coach Alexander Shulin to Bach in which he expressed “surprise” by the IOC leader’s statements.

He said Tutberidze had trained four gold medallists since 2014 and “she probably knows how and what she must tell her pupils after their performances.”

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