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Russian curler Krushelnitsky drops doping legal battle from CAS

Earlier, Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky tested positive for meldonium

PYEONGCHANG /South Korea/, February 21. /TASS/. Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky has withdrawn his doping violation case from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), as he himself said in a statement provided to TASS by head of the delegation of Olympic Athletes from Russia Stanislav Pozdnyakov.

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. However, on Tuesday, Krushelnitsky's second sample tested positive for the banned substance meldonium. On Wednesday, news came that CAS planned to hear Krushelnitsky’s case on February 22.

"I have never either violated the rules of sports or used doping," the statement reads. "We won a bronze medal by hard work and constant training. On my part, I admit that there has been a formal violation of the current anti-doping rules," Krushelnitsky added.

"It would be stupid to deny it after two tests proved positive," he went on to say. "The samples tested had been collected during the Olympic Games and I am ready to face the verdict that is usually announced in such cases. In this connection, having weighed up the pros and cons, I decided to withdraw my case from CAS. I believe that a hearing would be useless under the current rules," the Russian curler said.

Krushelinitsky added that he was ready to do everything in accordance with the procedures. "I will fulfill the rules' requirements and after than I will continue doing everything in my power so that the investigation would find strong evidence of my innocence. This is what the future decision of the World Curling Federation will depend upon, as it is authorized to determine the period of doping disqualifications," he added.

Russia’s Curling Federation earlier asked the country’s Investigative Committee to look into the possibility of Krushelnitsky’s food or drinks being spiked and requested South Korea and Japan, where Russian curlers trained before going to the Olympics, to provide data from CCTV cameras. The Federation also plans to request the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the organizing committee of the 2018 Olympics to assist in the investigation. Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov is hopeful that when making a decision concerning Krushelnitsky, the IOC will take into account that the athlete could have taken meldonium unknowingly.