Alexander Krushelnitsky, a Russian bronze-medalist in curling at the 2018 Winter Olympics, is now suspected of testing positive for meldonium, a substance that has been banned since 2016.
The drug is apparently still prescribed as an anti-ischemia medication in many eastern European countries. For athletes, the drug is effective at opening up the blood flow and enhancing exercise abilities.
Moscow denies having run a state-sanctioned doping program, which ultimately led the International Olympics Committee to prohibit Russia from officially competing in this year's games.
Officials will meet with anti-doping officers to perform further analysis on a "B" sample from Krushelnitsky.
The controversy was apparently the talk of the Olympics...well, of the venue, anyway...
And there's quite a bit at stake:
The IOC has said it may allow the Russians to march with the Russian flag and in national uniform at the Games closing ceremony on Feb. 25, provided they will have complied with its code of conduct on neutrality.— Ossian Shine 🇪🇺 (@ossianshine) February 18, 2018
The code requires compliance with IOC anti-doping rules.
But Twitter really just wants to know: for curling, really?
Someone clue me in on the benefits of doping for a curler. I will say, three beers = perfect shuffleboard enhancement.— Joe Rexrode (@joerexrode) February 18, 2018
One would think Adderall would make more sense. It looks like this is the first positive test for meldonium in an athlete that's not in a sport that requires a ton of cardiovascular effort?— Breslin Birds (@BreslinBirds) February 18, 2018
Counterpoint: yes, curling, really:
Why would athletes in curling take performance-enhancing drugs? The great @ScottCacciola will tell you that the sport is not your grandpa’s curling anymore. Today’s Olympic curlers are ripped: “His torso has more ridges than a fjord.” https://t.co/bdTENsTyLC— Juliet Macur (@JulietMacur) February 18, 2018
Krushelnitsky has now broken his silence:
UPDATE: #AlexanderKrushelnytsky, the #OAR #curling #Olympics bronze medallist who has tested positive for #meldonium, has told officials he fears his drink was spiked by a team-mate not selected for #Pyeongchang2018 at a training camp in Japan https://t.co/UapJ8To7Jd— insidethegames (@insidethegames) February 18, 2018
We anxiously await the final results. But in the meantime, curling's on y'all.