Anna Shcherbakova is on the ISU shortlist for best figure skater ©Getty Images

State Duma deputy and Turin 2006 Olympic speed skating gold medallist Svetlana Zhurova, has said Ukraine should not be lobbying the removal of Russian figure skater and Olympic champion Anna Shcherbakova from the International Skating Union (ISU) award shortlist.

Women's gold medallist Shcherbakova is nominated alongside fellow podium-sitter Kaori Sakamoto from Japan, American men's star Nathan Chen, Japanese men's stars Yuma Kagiyama and Shoma Umo, Japanese pairs duo Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara, Chinese pair Sui Wenjing and Han Cong and ice dancing couple Gabriela Papadakis and Guillaume Sizeron from France.

Shcherbakova is the only Russian on the list, leading to the Ukrainian Figure Skating Federation (UFFK) sending a letter to the ISU demanding her removal from the Most Valuable Skater of the Year list.

Zhurova hit back saying this should not be allowed, when speaking to Russian state news agency TASS.

"They will put forward not such demands, the question is whether they will be heard," said Zhurova.

"Speaking objectively, Anna won Olympic gold, this is a fact that has nothing to do with the special operation, although for Ukraine it's all the same, they want to convince everyone that in the world now everything is connected with the events that are taking place. 

"The scary thing is that they are trying to make a scandal out of all topics so that people follow their lead and decide that it is better to remove the Russians from everywhere so that there is no scandal."

Shcherbakova's win at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics was overshadowed by the scandal surrounding the doping case of her teammate Kamila Valieva, who tested positive before the Games. 

Kaori Sakamoto, the Olympic bronze medallist, was shortlisted too ©Getty Images
Kaori Sakamoto, the Olympic bronze medallist, was shortlisted too ©Getty Images

Despite leading after the short programme, Valieva suffered several falls during her free skate, leading her to finish fourth in tears behind Shcherbakova, Alexandra Trusova and Sakamoto.

Trusova's comments about her now-former coach Eteri Tutberidze and the Valieva scandal had more focus than the winner of the event.

"The sports component should not disappear anywhere, if a person deserves an award, and Anna certainly deserves it, then it should be awarded according to sports merit, but we also need to be more accurate and objective in our assessments," added Zhurova.

Chen won the men's event at Beijing 2022, with Sun and Han winning the pairs.

Papadakis and Sizeron were victorious in ice dance.

The UFFK complaint stems from the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia, which led to sporting sanctions on the involved nation, as well as its ally Belarus.