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Russian Curlers Stripped of Olympic Bronze for Doping at 2018 Winter Games

Alexander Kurshelnitsky and Anastasiya Bryzgalova Aaron Favila / AP / TASS

The first athletes from Russia to win an Olympic medal in mixed-doubles curling have been stripped of their bronze medal and disqualified from the Winter Games after one of them tested positive for doping.

Russian Olympic athletes have been plagued by doping allegations since a 2016 report by the World Anti-Doping Agency accused Russia of running a “state-sponsored doping program” to cover up positive drug tests for its athletes at major international competitions. Dozens of athletes from the country's team were banned from participating in the 2018 Olympic Games in South Korea this month.

Russian Olympic athlete Alexander Kurshelnitsky was stripped of his bronze medal after he was “found guilty of an anti-doping rule violation with meldonium,” the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced on Thursday.

Krushelnitsky first tested positive for meldonium a week after claiming bronze with his wife Anastasiya Bryzgalova at the Winter Games in South Korea. The athlete has returned the medal and a sports court trial scheduled for Thursday was cancelled after he said the hearing would be “pointless.”

Russia’s mixed-doubles curling team would be disqualified from participating in the 2018 Olympics, CAS added.

“The athlete has accepted a provisional suspension beyond the period of the Games and reserved his rights to seek the elimination or reduction of any period of ineligibility based on ‘no fault or negligence’ following the conclusion of the Games,” it said.

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