The Russian curlingist, the two-time world champion Alexander Krushelnitsky, is disqualified by the sports arbitration court for four years. The Meldonium was found in his body during the Pyeongchang Olympics, where he and Anastasia Bryzgalova won bronze medals. Dmitry Svishchev, president of the Russian curling federation, defined the court's decision too harsh and stated that the athlete would appeal.
The Sports Arbitration Court (CAS) in Lausanne issued a verdict against the Russian curlingist Alexander Krushelnitsky, in whose body the meldonium was discovered during the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. He is punished with suspension from the sport for four years, the period of disqualification goes from 12 February 2018.
The doping scandal that involved the two-time world champion in curling Krushelnitsky occurred at the height of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, where he, along with his wife and partner Anastasia Bryzgalova, performed in the state of Olympic athletes from Russia. Then the couple managed to win the first Olympic medals in the curling sector in the history of Russia – Krushelnitsky and Bryzgalova became bronze medals in the mixed doubles tournament.
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However, already five days after the match for the third place with the Norwegian duet, it became known that a forbidden substance, meldonium, had been discovered in Krushelnitsky's body. It turned out to be a positive test, delivered by an athlete on 12 February after the semi-final. Previous Krushelnytsky tests, passed before preparatory training in Japan, were negative.
The Russian curling federation suggested that meldonium could be mixed with an athlete, as a dose of one or two tablets of mildronate was found in his body. In the world of curling, it was said that Krushelnitsky had been framed or that he became a victim of sabotage. However, the Russian athlete had to abandon the case to CAS during the Olympics and admit the fact of the violation of the anti-doping regulation, since there was not enough time to build the defense.
"It is very unfortunate for me that this situation could jeopardize the whole Russian sport, because I perfectly understand what the attention to the issue of doping is now." It is also particularly difficult because I have never violated the sporting rules. and I have not used doping.We arrived at the bronze Olympic medal through hard work and regular training, for my part, I recognize the fact of a formal violation of the existing anti-doping rules.It is silly to deny it when the presence of a prohibited substance in the body is confirmed by the results of two doping tests, "said Krushelnytsky.
After that, he and Bryzgalov returned the bronze medals, which were then passed on to the Norwegians Kristin Skasienen and Magnus Nedregotten. The couple had to leave the Olympic village and pass their accreditation.
The Krushelnitsky case should have been re-examined in the CAS. Since he himself admitted the fact of a violation of the rules, and the anti-doping tests A and B gave a positive result, it was almost guaranteed that he was disqualified, the question was only in terms.
The International Curling Federation has agreed to conclude an agreement with Krushelnitsky and agree a two-year disqualification instead of a four-year one. However, the agreement was blocked by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) some days before the hearing in the CAS. Although the meeting itself, according to Krushelnitsky, took place in a peaceful atmosphere, it could face a very serious punishment.
"I am happy to have had the opportunity to present my case personally to the referee, I am satisfied with the way the auditions went, I hope I have managed to convince the referee that I have always been a pure athlete and I never took banned substances.I hope also that the referee will carefully evaluate and evaluate all the arguments and the evidence we presented today to the lawyers in court, I will take my part and make a right decision, "he said Krushelnytsky in September of this year.
It took almost three months to make a decision. The CAS referee, who dealt with the case alone, concluded that Krushelnytsky could not explain the presence of meldonium in his body, and the defense arguments were not supported by reliable evidence. For this reason, the Russian curlingist was unable to confirm that the use of Meldonium was not intentional. In this regard, the court decided to punish Krushelnytsky with the longest possible disqualification. He will lose the entire four-year cycle and will be able to return to sport only during the upcoming Beijing Olympics.
Dmitry Svishchev, president of the Russian curling federation, told RT that he considered the CAS verdict too rigid and suggested that the referee could make a decision under pressure.
"Unreasonably difficult decision, not supported by any subject.Our lawyers and invited experts have said that the use of the drug would be crazy.
Alexander admitted that Meldony was in his body, and after that, granting him four years of disqualification is an unprecedented punishment. The verdict has been delayed for three months. I think it was not without some advisers.
I'm sure the Australian referee who made the decision could not study the material provided for three months, "said Svishchev.
Krushelnitsky has the right to appeal within 21 days of the verdict. Svishchev noted that the athlete will use this opportunity and will continue to try to defend his name.
"We have the opportunity to appeal, we will prepare for this, we will meet again with the lawyers, the situation has become complicated, but as long as there is an opportunity – we will fight … Alexander is our athlete honored, fighting, regardless of anything, he will remain our partner, we will fight for him, "the official said.
Even the long suspension of Krushelnitsky will damage his wife's career. Immediately after the Olympics, he had to look for new show partners. Last season he finished with Alexei Timofeev at Dudinka's Arctic Cup, and in the new one he returned to women's curling. Bryzgalova joined the team by climbing Alina Kovaleva, who introduced the Russian team to the recent European championship. The girls are in fourth place.
Before the trial, Krushelnytsky Bryzgalova did not rule out the possibility of taking a break in her career and resuming her when her husband returns to sport. Span curls again and is among the best duets in the world, as it was before the Pyeongchang Olympics, the spouses are quite capable, as in this sporting age is not a major obstacle to the results.