Russian curling coach says Alexander Krushelnitsky unknowingly slipped meldonium


A Russian curling athlete, who won a medal at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, has reportedly left the games amid suspicions of doping.

Russian curling bronze medal victor Alexander Krushelnitskiy is returning his medal after testing positive for meldonium, a banned substance and performance-enhancing drug.

Russian Federation has been accused of running a state-backed, systematic doping program for years, an allegation that Moscow denies.

Earlier, Krushelnitsky had denied taking meldonium and said he was categorically against doping.

Russia's Olympic Committee (ROC) has paid US$15 million (10.80 million pounds) to help develop global anti-doping efforts as part of the conditions set for the country's possible return to the Games, it said on Thursday.

The OAR are competing under the Olympic flag and the Olympic anthem is being played at any medal ceremonies they feature in.

The CAS said it was acting on a request from the International Olympic Committee.

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The Russian Olympic delegation said on Tuesday it could not explain how meldonium, which can aid endurance, ended up in Krushelnitsky's body and that it was launching an investigation.

Meldonium is the same substance that tennis star Maria Sharapova tested positive for in 2016, leading to a 15-month suspension.

Russian Federation could lose its chance to be reinstated before the end of the Winter Olympics because of a doping charge against curling bronze medalist Alexander Krushelnitsky.

In December of 2017, it was reported that the entirety of Russia's Olympic team had been banned from competing in the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The Russian curler who tested positive for meldonium in PyeongChang and his partner will give back their bronze medals, according to a Russian state TV.

Russian sports officials are to meet anti-doping officers at Pyeongchang, the source said, adding that any violation would only be confirmed after analysis of a "B" sample.