Alexander Krushelnitsky was stripped of the Bronze Medal after the test results of a member of the team who were in charge of curling on the ice ball.
“We acknowledge the athlete’s doping test results are positive for meldonium, we will return the medal”, said a representative of the Russian Curling Federation recently.
Alexander Krushelnitsky and his wife Anastasia Bryzgalova won the bronze medal for men’s and women’s curling matches at Pyeongchang 2018. Alexander Krushelnitsky and Anastasia Bryzgalova are also special cases in this Winter Olympics because they are both very few couple playing in Pyeongchang.
It is worth mentioning that this is the first curling medal in the history of Russian sports teams at the Winter Games, although they attend as neutral because of the system use of doping at the Sochi Olympic Games 2014.
The results of Krushelnitsky’s test gave positive results for meldonium, a substance that helps athletes improve blood circulation when playing sports.
Meldonium, also called mildronate, is an anti-ischemic drug, which improves blood circulation, especially in the brain. Many studies have shown meldonium can improve mood as well as increase learning, memory and stress prevention.
At Pyeongchang Winter Olympics 2018, the Russian delegation with 168 athletes had to attend as a neutral delegation. Athletes march in the opening ceremony under the Olympic flag in gray clothes instead of the Russian flag and the Russian team’s shirt.
On the official website, the Russian Olympic Committee also made an official announcement about the incident, saying that before the Olympics, Krushelnitsky’s test results were still negative.
The curling couple’s doping scandal made efforts to regain the beautiful image of the Russian Olympic Committee in the IOC and world media pouring into the river. In 2016, the world’s No. 1 female player Maria Sharapova was also found positive for meldonium, a drug banned from use. Masha was then banned for 2 years.
With this indigo, the opportunity for the Russian delegation to walk under the national flag at the Closing Ceremony will be very unlikely. Commenting on the unfavorable results of the Russian delegation, Anna Sidorova, a Russian curling athlete who has won two European championships twice, said that doping has no effect in curling which requires clever handling skills rather than background fitness.
“I don’t think doping can help curling athletes. Both psychology and fitness are important in our sport. I’m sure psychology is the most important part”, she said. Anna Sidorova also recommends that all athletes pay attention to their food and drinks at the Olympics if they do not want to suffer from the disaster from heaven. “If you open the bottle to drink, be sure to keep an eye on it. If you leave the bottle for a second, it’s best not to drink that bottle anymore”.