MOSCOW, February 21. /TASS/. When making a decision concerning Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) should take into account that the athlete could have taken meldonium unknowingly, Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov told reporters.
On Tuesday, Krushelnitsky's second sample tested positive for meldonium. On February 19, the Anti-doping Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS ADD) opened a case against the Russian curler over a doping violation. Russian Curling Federation President Dmitry Svishchev told TASS that a CAS hearing was planned to take place on February 22.
"The IOC will make a decision, there is a need to look into this incident before taking any actions," Kolobkov said. "I hope that all the measures will be taken and the IOC will take into consideration that it had been an accident and the athlete actually had no intention to dope. Investigation will take place at every level. However, it will be difficult to prove his innocence after the samples tested positive," Kolobkov noted, adding that the incident did not rule out the possibility that the Russian Olympic Committee would be reinstated before the end of the Olympic Games.
At the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang, Krushelnitsky won bronze in the mixed doubles event with his partner and wife, Anastasia Bryzgalova.