A hearing in the case of Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky, who tested positive for the banned substance meldonium, has yet to be scheduled, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said on Wednesday.
“If the parties want a hearing, it will be fixed before the end of the week,” CAS told Reuters in an e-mail. Krushelnitsky, who won bronze in Pyeongchang with his wife in mixed doubles curling, has denied taking banned substances.
The Russian Olympic delegation in Pyeongchang has launched an investigation into the case and said on Tuesday it could not explain how meldonium, a drug that can aid in endurance, had made its way into Krushelnitsky’s body. The doping case has come at a delicate time for Russia, which has been accused of running a state-backed, systematic doping program for years, an allegation Moscow denies.
Russians are competing at Pyeongchang as neutral athletes, and the country would have been hoping that a clean record at the Games would enable it to return to full Olympic status.
Speaking to a news conference in Moscow on Wednesday, Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov said he hoped the doping case would not influence the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision on the country’s status. Unlike other Russian officials who have suggested Krushelnitsky’s food or drinks could have been spiked, Kolobkov warned against hastily jumping to conclusions.
“Let’s not make any assessments,” he said. “Let’s not call it a provocation, not say that someone spiked something. We just need to elucidate what happened.”
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