Russian Curlers Stripped of Olympic Bronze for Doping at 2018 Winter Games

Russian athletes participated neutrally at the Opening Ceremony but are still hoping for the suspension to be lifted before the Closing

Russian athletes participated neutrally at the Opening Ceremony but are still hoping for the suspension to be lifted before the Closing

Krushelnitsky tested positive for the banned substance meldonium.

Insiders claim the decision of Russian Alexander Krushelnitsky not to contest his doping ban is part of a plan designed by International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach not to upset key ally Vladimir Putin.

Krushelnitckii finished third in the event representing the Olympic Athletes of Russian Federation with his wife, Anastasia Bryzgalova, but now the medal will likely be reallocated by the International Olympic Committee and World Curling.

Less than a week after he reportedly tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, one of the curlers on a Russian team that had already officially been banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics has returned the bronze medal he won in mixed doubles competition.

Krushelnitsky won a bronze medal alongside his wife in mixed doubles curling last week.

With Krushelnitsky and Bryzgalova's third-place annulled, the bronze medal will be awarded to the Norway pair of Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten, who had originally finished fourth.

However, Olympic officials played down a meeting between IOC president Thomas Bach and close Putin aide Igor Levitin in PyeongChang. Adams said Bach and Levitin "may have talked about something else", but he declined to speculate what that might have been.

Russian Federation was banned from competing at the Winter Olympics because of state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Games in Sochi.

The statement said it would be "useless and senseless" for Krushelnitsky and Bryzgalova to fight the doping case during the Olympics but added that they considered themselves "clean athletes".

"Thus, the fact of a conscious or systematic use of the banned substance is not confirmed", says the statement.

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