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Russian curler Krushelnitsky says he has never taken banned substances

February 20, 16:19 UTC+3

B-sample of Alexander Krushelnitsky has tested positive for meldonium

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Alexander Krushelnitsky

Alexander Krushelnitsky

© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, February 20./TASS/. Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky said on Tuesday he had never taken banned substances or used any other unfair means in sports competitions. The athlete’s statement has been posted on the official website of the Russian Curling Federation.

B-sample of Alexander Krushelnitsky has tested positive for meldonium, spokesman for the Olympic Athletes from Russia team Konstantin Vybornov said in a statement on Tuesday. Krushelnitsky and Anastasia Bryzgalova won bronze in mixed doubles curling in PyeongChang.

"First of all I want to apologize to my partners in the Olympic team, our delegation and all the fans for having failed to secure myself and Nastya (Anastasia Bryzgalova) against the problems we have faced today," Krushelnitsky said.

"I am so sorry that a historic victory of Russia’ curling has now come into the focus of a doping scandal, which deals a blow at our sport and Russian sports on the whole," he went on to say.

"At the same time, I am ready to state openly that I have never used banned substances and any other unfair means of sports competitions since I engaged in sports. I am categorically against doping and I have always tried to do my best to ensure the observance of all anti-doping rules," he said.

"Testing positive for meldonium has not just shocked me and Nastya. This is a huge blow at my reputation and carrier. Needless to say that only a person absolutely deprived of common sense can take any performance-enhancing drugs, especially such as meldonium, in the run-up to the Olympic Games, where the testing procedures are most stringent. That is why I am interested in a prompt probe like nobody else," the athlete added.

On Monday, news surfaced that the CAS anti-doping division had opened a case against the Russian curler.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport's (CAS) hearing on the case of the Russian curler over doping violations at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games has been tentatively scheduled for Thursday, February 22, President of the Russian Curling Federation Dmitry Svishchev informed TASS over the phone earlier in the day.

"Today, practically all members of the Russian Curling Federation are flying to PyeongChang to attend the CAS session, which is tentatively scheduled for Thursday," Svishchev said. "I do not rule out, however, that it could be held tomorrow, so we want to fly to PyeongChang in advance. Team leader Tatiana Kharchenko and I are flying [to South Korea], while all the rest are waiting for us there. We cannot leave these guys all alone in this situation."

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