Anna Shcherbakova claimed gold in the women's singles event ©Getty Images

World champion Anna Shcherbakova earned gold in the women's figure skating competition at Beijing 2022, as a series of errors saw 15-year-old Kamila Valieva miss out on a podium after a week of controversy following her positive drug test.

The build-up to the event had centred around Valieva, who led after the short programme, after she was cleared to compete three days ago due to Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) opting against re-imposing a provisional suspension on the skater.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had declared an "asterisk" would be marked against the outcome of the event and no flower ceremony would be held should the world record holder earn a podium spot.

A ceremony was able to take place as the pressure on Valieva appeared to have taken its toll, with two falls among several mistakes during her performance.

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) skater appeared in tears after receiving a free programme score of 141.93, giving her a final score of 224.09.

The total was 48 points shy of her personal best, with the total not enough to secure a top three finish.

Her compatriots and training partners Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova were able to clinch a one-two finish ahead of the pre-event favourite.

Shcherbakova achieved a score of 175.75 in the free programme, adding to the 80.20 that had placed her second in the short programme stage.

A series of errors saw Kamila Valieva miss out on a podium place after a week of controversy ©Getty Images
A series of errors saw Kamila Valieva miss out on a podium place after a week of controversy ©Getty Images

“I was watching Kamila and I saw from her first jump how difficult it was, what a burden it was for her," said Shcherbakova said in a press conference afterwards.

“I understand what an athlete feels, it is more than difficult to go on until the end after what has happened.

 “I will tell her what I think about this later.”

“I have mixed feelings.

“I was in the right time and did the right things.

“I still don’t comprehend what has happened.

 “I am overwhelmed by happiness, but I also feel some emptiness inside as well.”

Trusova achieved five quad jumps during her performance, which had marked the first time they had been performed in the women's individual event at the Olympic Games.

Her free programme score of 177.13 was the highest of the competition.

The effort saw her finish as the silver medallist on 251.73.

Alexandra Trusova suggested she may never skate again after finishing as the silver medallist ©Getty Images
Alexandra Trusova suggested she may never skate again after finishing as the silver medallist ©Getty Images

Japan's Kaori Sakamoto completed the podium places on a total of 233.13, having added a free programme score of 153.29 to her short programme effort of 79.84.

The drama surrounding the competition continued after the event, with Trusova seen crying and declaring on television that she would never skate again.

When asked about the comment afterwards, Trusova said “we’ll see”.

"I am not happy with the result, there is no happiness,” Trusova said.

"Everything was enough for me.

“I did everything and after, it is out of my hands.”

The ramifications from the event and the Valieva case will go on, with a conclusion to her doping case and a final decision in the team event competition likely several months away.

Valieva had been a key member of the ROC gold medal winning squad in the team event on February 7, with United States and Japan completing the podium.

Valieva's positive test was only reported a day later.

The sample provided by Valieva was taken on December 25 at the Russian Figure Skating Championships in Saint Petersburg tested positive for banned substance trimetazidine.

Trimetazidine, a medicine usually used to prevent angina attacks and help blood flow to the heart, is prohibited both in and out-of-competition.

Whether Valieva committed an offence will be determined in the month's ahead, along with the outcome of World Anti-Doping Agency and Russian Anti-Doping Agency investigations into her entourage.