Russian Curlers Stripped of Olympic Bronze After Doping Violation

Russian Curlers Stripped of Olympic Bronze After Doping Violation
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Published February 22nd, 2018 - 17:40 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 14, 2018, Russia's bronze medallist Aleksandr Krushelnitckii poses on the podium during the medal ceremony for the curling mixed doubles at the Pyeongchang Medals Plaza during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky tested positive for the banned substance meldonium at the Pyeongchang Olympics, the Russian Olympic Committee confirmed on February 20.
Martin BUREAU / AFP
(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 14, 2018, Russia's bronze medallist Aleksandr Krushelnitckii poses on the podium during the medal ceremony for the curling mixed doubles at the Pyeongchang Medals Plaza during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky tested positive for the banned substance meldonium at the Pyeongchang Olympics, the Russian Olympic Committee confirmed on February 20. Martin BUREAU / AFP

Two Russian curlers were ordered to give back their Winter Olympic bronze medals after one of them, Aleksandr Krushelnitsky, was found guilty of using a banned substance.

Krushelnitsky won bronze in mixed doubles curling with his wife, Anastasia Bryzgalova, in Pyeongchang. Krushelnitsky, who tested positive for meldonium, has admitted to the violation.

"The athlete has accepted a provisional suspension beyond the period of the Games and 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 Court of Arbitration for Sport said in a statement Thursday.

In 2016, the World Anti-Doping Agency added meldonium, a drug used to treat heart conditions, to the list of banned substances because some athletes were found to be using it for enhancing performance.

In a statement to Russian news agency TASS, Krushelnitsky said he has "never either violated the rules of sports or used doping."

"We won a bronze medal by hard work and constant training. On my part, I admit that there has been a formal violation of the current anti-doping rules," Krushelnitsky said. "It would be stupid to deny it after two tests proved positive. ... I am ready to face the verdict that is usually announced in such cases."

Krushelinitsky said he would not challenge the ruling by the CAS, saying "a hearing would be useless under the current rules."

Fourth-place finisher Norway is expected now to be given the bronze medal.

In December, the International Olympic Committee suspended the Russian Olympic Committee from the Pyeongchang Games over a doping scandal, but allowed clean Russian athletes to compete neutrally under the name "Olympic Athlete from Russia," with the Olympic anthem to be played in any ceremony instead of the Russian anthem.

Krushelinitsky is the third athlete who has tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in Pyeongchang, joining Japanese speed skater Kei Saito and Slovenian hockey player Ziga Jeglic.

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