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RUSSIAN curler Alexander Krushelnitsky was stripped of his Olympic bronze medal yesterday after admitting to a doping violation at the Pyeongchang Games.
Krushelnitsky tested positive for meldonium, which is believed to help blood circulation, after winning bronze in mixed doubles with his wife, Anastasia Bryzgalova.
Sports’ highest court, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, said Krushelnitsky’s results had been disqualified and his Olympic credential was withdrawn.
CAS said Krushelnitsky accepted a provisional suspension beyond the Olympics but “reserved his rights to seek the elimination or reduction of any period of ineligibility based on ‘no fault or negligence’” following the conclusion of the games.
The World Curling Federation will determine the extent of Krushelnitsky’s suspension from competition.
Norwegian pair Magnus Nedregotten and Kristin Skaslien, who placed fourth in the mixed doubles after losing 8-4 to the Russians, are expected to be elevated to the bronze.
Krushelnitsky waived his right to a CAS hearing and the ruling was based on written evidence.
Russian curling officials have said they believe Krushelnitsky’s food or drink could have been spiked with meldonium either by Russia’s political enemies or by jealous Russian rival athletes who had not made the Olympic team. They’ve started an investigation into how the traces of the banned substance got into Krushelnitsky’s system.
Dmitry Svishchev, president of Russia’s curling federation, said he hoped the loss of the medal was temporary.
“This is by no means an admission of guilt, nor an end to the fight for our guys’ honour,” Svishchev said.
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