Russian athlete suspected of failing drugs test

A fan holds up a flag during the men’s hockey game between the team from Russia and Slovenia on Friday. More

On Sunday, the Sport FM radio station citing its source told about a positive doping test of Russia's bronze medalist Alexander Krushelnitzky (curling).

"We are not naming the athlete or the discipline until the B-sample results, which are expected within approximately 24 hours".

Krushelnytsky was part of the mixed-doubles team that won a bronze medal last week, a rare bright spot for the depleted Russian Olympic squad, which has struggled without some of its top stars.

"The doping tests of the Russian curler Alexander Krushelnytsky showed suspicious results", the Sport Express report said.

"We were all shocked when we found out yesterday. Of course we very much hope it was some kind of mistake", Russian curler Viktoria Moiseeva told reporters, adding that the team believed Krushelnitsky was innocent.

"With us it's not faster, higher, stronger; it's about being more accurate".

He had earlier said that Russian curlers were tested on January 22 before arriving in South Korea and the tests were negative.

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"I have known these guys for many years". "It's a unusual story". It would also raise questions about the vetting process the International Olympic Committee used to determine who would be invited to Pyeongchang.

The nation was barred from the Olympics in December after an investigation into a state-backed doping program that corrupted the 2014 Olympics it hosted in Sochi. "However, we take note of the statement by a spokesperson of the Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR) delegation".

The IOC cited what it said investigations showed was a longstanding state-sponsored doping program and "unprecedented systematic manipulation" of the Olympic anti-doping system at Winter Olympics that Russian Federation hosted in Sochi in 2014.

Russian athletes are participating under the Olympic Athletes from Russia designation, after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) banned Russia from competing as a team at the Winter Olympics. A decision would be made soon after that.

An IOC implementation panel is due to consider how well the Russian team has observed the guidelines before making a recommendation on whether to lift the ban.

Krushelnitsky did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Adams confirmed the positive test and says it could have "consequences" in evaluating the behaviour of the Russian team, which was required to abide by restrictions - including bans to some medal favourites - and to undergo extra drug tests.

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