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First Ever Russian Curling Medalist Leaves Olympics After Doping Allegations

Aleksander Krushelnitcky Ma Ping / Zuma / TASS

The first athlete from Russia to win an Olympic medal in mixed-doubles curling is being investigated for doping, an international sports court has confirmed after reports of performance-enhancing drug abuse. 

The husband and wife pair of Alexandr Krushelnitsky and Anastasia Bryzgalova claimed bronze in the Winter Games in South Korea after securing an 8-4 win over Norway last week. News emerged this weekend that Krushelnitsky may have tested positive for meldonium, a drug that is thought to give an athlete an unfair advantage by increasing blood flow and boosting the amount of oxygen circulating through the body.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced on Monday that it had opened a doping case involving Krushelnitsky on a request from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

CAS said it had not yet set a hearing date and declined to provide further information.

An IOC spokesman later said that a sample of the flagged Russian athlete’s blood may turn out to be clean after it is tested later in the day.

“There is a possibility that a mistake was made or something was mixed in when sample A was taken,” he told the sports news website.

Reuters reported Sunday that Krushelnitsky had surrendered his accreditation and left the Olympic village.

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