A Russian Olympic medalist has left-wing the Pyeongchang Winter Games on suspicion of doping, a Russian sports lawful said on Monday, in a case that could jeopardize the nation’s attempts to draw a line under a years-long drug-cheating scandal.
Alexander Krushelnitsky, who fences in curling, one of the Games’ least physically taxing sports, is suspected of try out positive for meldonium, a banned substance that increases blood run and improves exercise capacity.
He is awaiting the results of analysis of his B sample, foresaw later on Monday, before a violation can be confirmed, a source familiar with the occasion has said.
Asked for an update on Krushelnitsky’s case, Russian Olympic delegation spokesman Konstantin Vybornov prophesied Reuters on Sunday that he had surrendered his Games accreditation pending B test results. Later, he said he had not referred to any individual athlete by name and desire make no more comment.
Krushelnitsky won bronze with his wife in mixed-doubles curling at Pyeongchang. Suspicions of a doping desecration have shocked the Russian team and also the sport of curling, where unwavering hands and sharp eyes outweigh physical fitness.
“We were all surprised when we found out yesterday. Of course we very much hope it was some feather of mistake,” Russian curler Viktoria Moiseeva told reporters, adding that the collaborate believed Krushelnitsky was innocent.
“With us it’s not faster, higher, stronger; it’s in being more accurate. I can’t imagine what kind of drugs you could use in curling … so it’s mere hard to believe.”
Russian curling federation president Dmitry Svishchev predicted Russian curlers had been tested on Jan. 22 before flying out to South Korea and the proofs were negative.
“I have known these guys for many years. Purely a crazy person takes banned substances before a competition, forward of the Olympics,” Svishchev said on Sunday night when the news head broke. “It’s a strange story. It raises a lot of questions.”
Meldonium was banned in 2016 and led to Russian tennis contestant and former world number one Maria Sharapova being barred from match for 15 months.
Russia has been accused of running a state-backed, methodical doping program for years, an allegation Moscow denies. As a result, its athletes are jousting at Pyeongchang as neutral “Olympic Athletes from Russia” (OAR).
The Russians had been craving that a clean record at Pyeongchang would persuade the International Olympic Panel (IOC) to allow them to march at the Games closing ceremony on Feb. 25 with the Russian signal and in national uniform.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Monday that any doping disregard, if confirmed, would be known around noon (0300 GMT). A decision would be made at the end of the day after that.
If confirmed, the violation would be considered by the IOC’s OAR Implementation panel, the fullness in charge of monitoring the OAR team’s behavior at the Games.
Krushelnitsky has not responded to a entreaty for comment.
He and his wife, Anastasia Bryzgalova, won bronze in a game against Norway, which intention take that medal if a doping violation were to be confirmed.
“I contemplate it’s not true … for the sport of curling,” said Norwegian team skipper Thomas Ulsrud.
“If it’s upright I feel really sad for the Norwegian team who worked really hard and close up in fourth place and just left for Norway and they aren’t despite here.”