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SIDEBAR Russian coach sceptical of reports curler took meldonium

Europe, Europa
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Gangneung, South Korea (dpa) - Meldonium has no performance-enhancing effect in curling, Russian women‘s coach Sergei Belanov said Monday in the wake of reports that mixed team Olympic bronze medallist Alexandr Krushelnitckii had failed a doping test for the banned substance.

Belanov also said after the team‘s heavy 11-2 defeat against Switzerland that he was sceptical that Krushelnitckii would have taken the substance.

"It has no benefits," he said. "I don‘t believe that a young man, a clever man would use the same doping which was so big news now for two years. It‘s stupid, but Aleksandr is not stupid so I don‘t believe it."

Krushelnitckii won mixed event bronze with his wife, Anastasia Bryzgalova, last week. The International Olympic Committee said Sunday that there has been a doping case, with Russian media naming Krushelnitckii as the supect.

Olympic Athletes from Russia spokesman Konstantin Vyborov did not want to confirm the name or details, but said the B-sample would be examined Monday. He admitted that "a positive doping test damages the reputation of the athlete, a federation and a sports nation in any scenario."

Russian athletes must compete as neutrals in Pyeongchang as a result of doping practices, and the case could hurt their bid to be reinstated and use their national flag at Sunday‘s closing ceremony.

Originally a heart medication, meldonium became a banned substance on January 2016 and a large number of Russians were caught using it, including tennis star Maria Sharapova. While Sharapova served a suspension, others were cleared because of uncertainty over how long the substance took to leave the athlete‘s system.

Women‘s team member Victoria Moiseeva said the issue "came upon us like a storm. We never thought it would happen in curling. All of us hope that the B-test is negative."

Moiseeva also talked about speculation that Krushelnitckii‘s may have been the victim of sabotage from within the Russian curling ranks at a training camp.

"I can not imagine that someone could do this and then sleep well at night. He would not only have destroyed the life of an individual but that of an entire country as well," Moiseeva said.

Moiuseeva added said she and her team-mates have not been in contact with Krushelnitckii.

"We didn‘t talk to him. We thought that there are no words to comfort now. We just tried to stay away, not because we‘re afraid to say something," she said.


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(21.03.2018 21:37)

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