Olympics reels as 'clean' Russian curler hit by doping case

Olympics reels as 'clean' Russian curler hit by doping case

Alexander Krushelnitsky, who won bronze in the mixed doubles curling with his wife Anastasia Bryzgalova, was the subject of a new procedure at the Court of Arbitration for Sport's (CAS) anti-doping division.

International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams says a failed doping test by a Russian athlete could keep the country's banned team from being reinstated and marching under the national flag at the closing ceremony.

Adams said the positive test could have "consequences" in evaluating the behaviour the Russian team, which was required to abide by restrictions and to undergo extra drug tests. As a result, its athletes are competing at Pyeongchang as neutral "Olympic Athletes from Russia" (OAR).

If lifted, OAR athletes could display the Russian flag during their march in the closing ceremony Sunday.

Russia's curling federation has also launched an "emergency commission" to investigate the doping case, federation president Dmitry Svishchev told Reuters.

"I'm not even sure what use doping would be for in curling".

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Krushelnitsky, who won bronze with his wife in the mixed doubles at the Winter Olympics, is suspected of testing positive for meldonium.

"I would never believe someone on our team would do that", said women's curling captain Victoria Moiseeva, adding: "I can't imagine how he and his wife feel".

More than 160 Russian athletes who could prove they were clean from doping are competing in a Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) team after the nation was banned from the Games because of state-sponsored doping leading up to and including the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.

International Olympic Committee spokesperson Mark Adams, when asked if the Russian flag could still be allowed at the closing ceremony, said the panel will examine whether they have followed the "letter and the spirit of the (December) ruling".

"We were all shocked when we found out yesterday". Former world tennis number one Maria Sharapova served a 15-month ban for using the substance after it was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's prohibited list.

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