Doping case launched against Russian athlete: tribunal

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Alexander Krushelnitsky, a bronze-medalist along with his wife in mixed-doubles curling, is suspected of having tested positive for meldonium, the source said.

After Krushelnitsky's "A sample" tested positive, Russian delegation spokesman Konstantin Vybornov said the athlete had surrendered his Games accreditation and left the Olympic village while awaiting the result of a second sample.

International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams says a failed doping test could keep Russia's banned team from marching under the national flag in the closing ceremony on February 25.

"I hope it's not true. for the sport of curling", said Norwegian team skipper Thomas Ulsrud.

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He echoed a general bewilderment among curling athletes who couldn't fathom why anyone would use drugs that aid endurance in a sport that needs steady hands and concentration rather than peak physical fitness.

"And I don't believe a young man chooses risk or will use the same drug that has been around for two years".

"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".

Krushelnitsky and his wife, Anastasia Bryzgalova, won bronze in a game against Norway, which would take that medal if a doping violation were to be confirmed.

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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said there could be "consequences" for Russian Federation - a special panel will meet this week to discuss lifting Russia's suspension before the closing ceremony.

"Should this case be proven or should this case come to fruition, that will also be part of consideration as to whether they will be allowed to march in the closing ceremony under the (Russian) flag", International Olympic Committee spokesperson Mark Adams said at a press conference at the Main Press Centre here. They finished the PyeongChang games with a 4-3 record.

"I think we would very much stick by that decision that athletes should not be judged as a group but we should find a way to rigorously test them and provide a route for clean athletes to compete".

A total of 168 athletes are competing in the OAR team, and they have so far won three silver medals and eight bronzes.

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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.

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