Russian President Vladimir Putin held an event for Beijing 2022 Olympic gold medallists ©Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin has presented Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic medallists with state awards in a ceremony at the Kremlin.

The ceremony was held as Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine continues, which has led to the country’s athletes largely being blocked from competing in international sporting events.

Putin gave awards to Beijing 2022 Olympic gold medallists at the ceremony, including presenting the Order of Friendship to figure skater Kamila Valieva.

Valieva, who is celebrating her 16th birthday, became the centre of attention at Beijing 2022 after confirmation of her positive drugs test.

The teenager faltered under the spotlight to miss out on a medal in the women’s individual event, while the world record holder’s gold medal in the team competition is uncertain as her doping case continues.

The delegation were required to compete at the Games as the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) due to World Anti-Doping Agency sanctions.

The Order of Friendship was also presented to fellow team event members Alexander Gallyamov, Mark Kondratyuk, Anastasia Mishina and Victoria Sinitsina.

Women’s individual champion Anna Shcherbakova was presented with the Order of Friendship, while Nikita Katsalapov received the Order of Honour and Alexander Trusova the first class Order of Merit for the Fatherland.

Treble cross-country skiing gold medallist Alexander Bolshunov was granted the Order of Alexander Nevsky.

Cross-country skiers Natalya Nepryaeva, Tatyana Sorina, Veronika Stepanova, Yulia Stupak, Sergei Ustyugov and Alexei Chervotkin have also been honoured with the Order of Friendship, while Denis Spitsov received the Order of Honour.

Ski jumper Irina Avvakumova, speed skater Daniil Aldoshkin and the ROC's men's ice hockey team have also been honoured.

Bolshunov was among the absentees from the event at the Kremlin, with the cross-country skier having undergone surgery.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Olympians had inspired people across the country ©Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Olympians had inspired people across the country ©Getty Images

Valieva, Gallyamov, Katsalapov, Kondratyuk, Mishina, Sinitsina, Spitsov, Stepanova and Chervotkin were present at the Kremlin.

“I am very glad to see you and congratulate you on a wonderful performance at the Olympic Winter Games and present state awards," Putin said.

"You certainly deserve them with your talent, hard work, skill, your devotion to the sport and its values and ideals.

"Without any exaggeration, the brilliant, strong-willed victories of you and all our Olympians, Russian athletes, have become a real decoration of the Games.

"Many fans not only in our country but all over the world looked at it with admiration and rejoiced."

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko and Presidential aide Igor Levitin presented state awards to Russian athletes who won silver and bronze medals at the Beijing 2022 Olympics, as well as members of the Paralympic team.

Russia were prevented from competing at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Games following the outbreak of the war with Ukraine.

Levitin temporarily self-suspended himself from his role as European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) President last month, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The International Olympic Committee has recommended that International Federations ban Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from their competitions due to the conflict.

International Federations have largely followed the guidance.

Officials from the nations have not been required to stand down.

Putin addressed Russia’s Council for the Development of Physical Culture and Sports following the meeting with athletes.

He expressed disappointment at the ninth placed finish on the Beijing 2022 medals table, before addressing their exclusion from international sport.

The ceremony was held against the backdrop of Russia's ban from international sport following its invasion of Ukraine ©Getty Images
The ceremony was held against the backdrop of Russia's ban from international sport following its invasion of Ukraine ©Getty Images

"The winners and prize-winners of the Games in Beijing are, of course, outstanding masters who have won a worthy number of awards," Putin said.

"But now we are not at a solemn event, but at, in fact, a production meeting and must give objective assessments of everything we do.

"In this regard, I would like to note that the final place in the team standings for our team is still lower than it was planned in the sports development strategy, and I ask the Minister of Sports, of course, to report about this.

"In the current conditions - the pressure that Russia and its citizens are facing, it is fundamentally important to maintain the competitive activity of athletes.

"Addressing the national teams, I have already said that we intend to carry out and implement everything planned in the field of sports.

"As for the projects that international sports management structures have cancelled in Russia - well, God be their judge - but in this regard, these cancelled competitions need to be replenished through their new formats.

"We can do this quite quickly: organise multi-stage sports tournaments that are open and attractive from all points of view, ensure the participation of foreign athletes, clubs and teams in them.

"I ask the Government to immediately begin compiling a list of such competitions, to determine the volume and sources of funding for both already planned and new initiatives."

The ROC has already mooted inviting foreign athletes to a series of events in Russia, which it claims would be of equal status to the World and European Championships.

Athletes from Belarus, Armenia and Kazakhstan were cited as potential participants.