Russian athlete Alexander Krushelnitsky has returned the bronze medal he won last week at the Olympics after testing positive for meldonium.
Krushelnitsky and his partner Anastasiya Bryzgalova won a bronze medal on Feb. 12 in mixed doubles curling before the athlete’s urine samples came back positive for meldonium. A hearing on the case at the Sports Arbitration Court (CAS) scheduled for Feb. 22 was cancelled after the athlete said that the hearing would be "pointless."
"I never violated the sport's rules and did not use doping," Krushelnitsky said in a statement published by the state-run TASS news agency.
"We achieved the bronze Olympic medal through hard work and constant training,” he said.
While denying that he was guilty of doping, the athlete admitted “the fact that a formal violation of the existing anti-doping rules took place.”
"It's stupid to deny this when the presence of a banned substance in the system is confirmed by the results of two doping tests,” he added.
Krushelnitsky said he was prepared for a “predictable” verdict that would find him guilty but vowed to do everything in his power to find “irrefutable evidence” of his innocence.
The Russian Curling Federation (RCF) wrote a statement claiming that banned substances may have been added to Krushelnitsky's food by unknown persons, TASS reported.