Doping: allege Russian athlete refuses immediate comment

Feb 13, 2018; Gangneung, South Korea; Aleksandr Krushelnitckii (OAR) during the mixed doubles curling bronze medal game during the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games at Gangneung Curling Centre. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

A source at the ongoing PyeongChang Winter Olympics has said a Russian medallist is suspected of having tested positive for a banned substance.

This development is said to be a potentially major blow to Russia’s efforts to emerge from a drug-cheating scandal.

Alexander Krushelnitsky, a bronze medallist along with his wife in mixed doubles curling, is suspected of having tested positive for meldonium a banned substance that increases blood flow and improves exercise capacity in athletes.

Krushelnitsky did not respond immediately to a request for comment, while a spokesman for the Russian delegation at PyeongChang said he had no immediate comment.

Russia has been accused of running a state-sponsored and systematic doping programme for years, an allegation Moscow denies.

A report says Russian sports officials are to meet anti-doping officers at PyeongChang, adding that any violation would be confirmed after analysis of a “B” sample.

An official for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) declined to comment, saying an independent testing authority was in charge of drugs testing at PyeongChang.

It will be recalled that Russian athletes are banned from competing for their country at PyeongChang due to allegations of systematic doping. However, they are listed as neutral Olympic athletes, unable to have the Russian anthem played in medal ceremonies or use national symbols



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