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Russian curling fell in the meldonia in Pyeongchang: what is it threatening and why should he dope


Anastasia Bryzgalova and Alexander Krushelnytsky after the winning match for bronze. Photo by Jamie Skvira, Getty Images
Anastasia Bryzgalova and Alexander Krushelnytsky after the winning match for bronze. Photo by Jamie Skvira, Getty Images

Who is Krushelnytsky and what happened

On February 13, Petersburgers and spouses Alexander Krushelnytsky and Anastasia Bryzgalova brought Russia the first Olympic medal in curling, taking bronze in the mixed-pair tournament (double-mix) at the Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Five days later, the media found out that Krushelnytsky had failed the doping test. In his blood allegedly found meldonia – banned from January 1, 2016 drug. The admission of doping was the reason for the removal of the team from the Games in Pyeongchang: that’s why the admitted athletes act like Olympic athletes from Russia.

Krushelnytsky and Bryzgalov are one of the most discussed by the press couples at the 2018 Olympic Games. Both athletes came to curling accidentally: Alexander refused football after the collapse of the team, my mother recorded Anastasia for curling on the ad at the rink. Nevertheless, the team performs well and won two Russian championships in a row, in 2016 and 2017. No suspicions about Bryzgalova were reported.

How the blood of Krushelnytsky could be hit by meldonium

According to the rules, the tests taken from the athletes are divided into two parts – A and B. The second test is required, for example, to confirm or refute the first study. Repeated testing is carried out in the same laboratory, but is assigned to another specialist.

According to sources of sports media, the traces of muldonia in the blood of Krushelnytsky were discovered even in a doping test A. On February 19, a second doping test was opened in South Korea, which confirmed the presence of meldonia in the athlete’s blood, the “Championship” reported .

Russia has so far officially denied the accusations against Krushelnytsky and asked to wait for the results of the investigation. However, the Sports Arbitration Court in Lausanne (CAS) has already registered the case of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) against the athlete.

He could take meldony himself

According to the first version, Krushelnytsky deliberately or accidentally accepted melding before the tournament. However, the athlete himself said that “he is not aware of all this.” According to the coach, Alexander knotted with mill mongrel in 2016. The Curling Federation of Russia assures that the team formally refused the drug even earlier – in October 2015 .

It was framed

According to sources of the site Inside The Games, Krushelnytsky allegedly told officials in Pyeongchang that someone had poured muldonium into his drink at a Japanese gathering before the Games – 10 days before the analysis. He flew from Moscow to Japan on January 23.

The Wall Street Journal found that in the blood curling found more meldonia than usually accepted by athletes : therefore, the authorities began to investigate the possibility of an “act of sabotage.” According to, at least Daniil Goryachev and Maria Komarova were training at that gathering. Representatives of the Russian team asked “to be more careful about such information” and indicated that Inside The Games did not disclose the source.

Why in curling dope

After the first news about the meldonia in Krushelnytsky’s blood, journalists and other users of social networks wondered why curlers would need dope. Along with this, athletes and coaches from other teams did not understand how Russia could get on banned substances when it is already under sanctions.




Curling does not require doping, because in this sport there is a high risk of error due to the use of illegal drugs, the Russian curling girl and participant of two Olympics (2010, 2014) Anna Sidorova told the Championship. According to her, there is no concept of doping in curling at all.

We do not only super-strong throws, when you need to knock out a stone, use force. Sometimes strength is not needed at all, it is important to have a clear sense of sensory motor skills, which is gained by experience. You can cope with your head, feel the speed with which you need to send the stone at the right time. Accordingly, if you are poking, you can not do it.

Anna Sidorova
Russian curling champion, bronze medalist of the World Cup and two-time European champion

Sidorova admitted that she met with “stupid” cases of doping in curling. According to her, an unnamed Dane caught on the hormonal tablets that she drank before and during the European Championships in the hope of getting pregnant.

It was also reported that the Canadian curlingist Joe France was suspended for two years for cocaine, and the German Martin Tichatsk – for lack of doping tests in principle: when the athlete was vacationing abroad, she missed the call of a doping officer and later said she was turning off the phone.

What threatens the athlete and the Russian team

  • Krushelnytsky has already left the Olympic village, where the participants of the Games are located;
  • The situation can interfere not only the IOC, but also the Investigative Committee: the Curling Federation of Russia has already sent a statement asking to “sort out”;
  • IOC annul the bronze medals of Krushelnytsky and Bryzgalov, if the allegations are confirmed. It is not excluded that other athletes from Russia will lose their medals;
  • Earlier, the IOC admitted that Russia would be allowed to pass at the closure of the OI-2018 under its flag. Because of the case of Krushelnytsky this is unlikely to happen;
  • Compliance with anti-doping rules was an important condition for the performance of Russian athletes in South Korea. Now, measures against the Russian Federation can be tightened. For example, participation in the 2019 Youth Olympics in Argentina, as well as the following Summer and Winter Games, is under threat.

According to the representative of the IOC, if the case of doping is confirmed, it will be considered after the 2018 Olympics. Will the athletes from Russia fly under the national flag at the closing ceremony of the Olympics, will be decided on February 24, the day before it is held.

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