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Russian Olympic Curling Medalist Charged With Doping

A picture of the Olympic Rings in South Korea.

(Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

The curling world is in a state of shock today. A Winter Olympics medalist has been charged with doping.

Alexander Krushelnitsky, a curler from Russia who won the bronze medal in mixed doubles with his partner Anastasia Bryzgalov, has been charged with doping. He's likely set to be stripped of his medal.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport charged the 25-year-old curler with a doping offense. He tested positive for the banned substance meldonium.

The bronze medalist reportedly suspects his drink was spiked with the substance by a disgruntled player. From The Guardian:

Krushelnitsky has told Russian officials he fears a team-mate who was not selected for the Winter Olympics spiked his drink with meldonium at a training camp before he travelled to South Korea. The drug, which was banned in 2016, led to Russian tennis player and former world No 1 Maria Sharapova being barred from competition for 15 months.

Russian curling federation president Dmitry Svishchev said Russian curlers had been tested on 22 January before flying out to South Korea and the tests were negative. “I have known these guys for many years,” he said. “Only a crazy person takes banned substances before a competition, before the Olympics. It’s a strange story. It raises a lot of questions.”

Those close to him are standing behind him. The bronze medalist's teammates reportedly believe he is innocent.

“We were all shocked when we found out,” said fellow Russian curler Viktoria Moiseeva. “Of course we very much hope it was some kind of mistake. With us it’s not faster, higher, stronger; it’s about being more accurate. I can’t imagine what kind of drugs you could use in curling … so it’s very hard to believe.”

Russia's athletes were reportedly tested on Jan. 22 before flying out to South Korea. All of the tests were reportedly negative.