Russia may lose its likelihood to be reinstated earlier than the top of the Winter Olympics due to a doping cost towards curling bronze medalist Alexander Krushelnitsky.
The Courtroom of Arbitration for Sport stated in an announcement Monday that it has “initiated a process involving” Krushelnitsky, who completed third in combined doubles along with his spouse, Anastasia Bryzgalova.
IOC spokesman Mark Adams says a failed doping check may hold Russia’s banned group from marching below the nationwide flag on the closing ceremony.
Russian athletes are taking part within the Pyeongchang Olympics as “Olympic Athletes from Russia.” The IOC suspended the Russian Olympic committee final yr in reference to a large doping scheme on the 2014 Olympics in Sochi however allowed 168 athletes to compete below impartial uniforms and with out the Russian nationwide flag.
Adams confirmed the optimistic check and says it may have “penalties” in evaluating the habits the Russian group, which was required to abide by restrictions — together with bans to some medal favorites — and to bear additional drug assessments.
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“If confirmed this shall be taken under consideration together with many different elements” relating to Russian habits,” Adams stated.
Russian Curling Federation president Dmitry Svishchev informed The Related Press that Krushelnitsky examined clear as not too long ago as January 22, the day earlier than he flew to a pre-Olympic coaching camp in Japan.
Svishchev stated it was potential somebody spiked Krushelnitsky’s meals or drink with meldonium, which was banned in 2016. He urged that rival Russian athletes or Russia’s political enemies may very well be accountable.
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“It might’t occur on the Olympic Village as a result of everybody eats the identical canteen meals,” he stated. “It may occur at coaching camp or within the intervening interval. … There’s a risk of it being one thing throughout the group, that one thing occurred throughout coaching camp, or as a political means to attain some purpose.”
The curling group educated in Japan in January, bringing in some Russian athletes who had not certified for the Olympics as observe companions.
Meldonium is the substance that Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova was suspended for after testing optimistic on the Australian Open in 2016. Earlier than it was banned, many Russian athletes used the drug, which is designed for folks with coronary heart issues and a few imagine may also help athletes improve stamina.
Krushelnitsky’s “A pattern” examined optimistic. Adams stated a second pattern can be examined, and outcomes may very well be introduced inside 24 hours.
The Norwegian group completed fourth, and will get the bronze if the optimistic check is confirmed.
Adams says Russians on the video games have undergone “rigorous testing” and provides that “Russians have been examined to a major stage greater than others.”
The case was the speak of the rink at curling.
Russian girls’s curling coach Sergei Belanov stated he didn’t imagine younger and “intelligent man” would dope. “It’s silly. However Aleksandr isn’t silly, so I don’t imagine it.”
The skip of the Russian girls’s group, Viktoria Moiseeva wished to consolation Krushelnitsky and Bryzgalova however “we thought that there aren’t any phrases to consolation now. We simply tried to remain away.”
Although to the uninitiated, the thought of a roller utilizing performance-enhancing medicine could seem weird, the game does demand a excessive stage of athleticism on the Olympic stage. Curlers have to have robust core muscle mass and higher physique energy with a view to handle the customarily rigorous sweeping that helps them information the rock down the ice.
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Health is much more vital in combined doubles, the occasion Krushelnitsky was competing in. As a result of there are simply two curlers on every group as an alternative of the 4 in conventional curling, there may be little relaxation between throws, and each teammates are sometimes closely concerned in sweeping.
“It’s bodily demanding on the market. It’s not such as you don’t want any muscle mass,” stated Swiss roller Silvana Tirinzoni, whose group beat the Russian girls’s group 11-2 at Monday’s spherical robin. “We’ve to be match and we’ve to be understanding. My sweepers are understanding like 5 instances per week, go to the gymnasium, so it (performance-enhancing medicine) may also help, however we shouldn’t do this. I believe that’s silly.”
Tirinzoni stated if the experiences have been confirmed, they’d be disappointing. However she stated she nonetheless had no reservations about taking part in towards the Russian athletes on Monday.
“I believe clear athletes have the appropriate to compete,” she stated. “It’s not about me to make these sort of choices. So I imagine the group we performed right now, they’re as clear as we’re.”