- Olympic Athletes from Russia spokesman confirms adverse finding in drugs test
- The team refused to identify the athlete but reports say Alexander Krushelnitsky
- The mixed doubles curler is reported to have tested positive for meldonium
- The results of the B sample are yet to be confirmed and could yet clear him
The admission of Russian athletes into the Winter Olympics ran the risk of greater ridicule on Sunday after one of their team failed a doping test.
A spokesman for the Olympic Athletes from Russia confirmed to Sportsmail that they had been notified of an adverse finding.
They would not confirm the identity of the athlete, but it was reported by Reuters to be Alexander Krushelnitsky, who won a mixed doubles curling bronze medal. They reported he tested positive for meldonium.
Alexander Krushelnitsky (right) is reported to have failed a drugs test for meldonium
Krushelnitcky won bronze alongside Anastasia Bryzgalova, who has not failed a doping test
What is Meldonium?
Meldonium is commonly used to treat heart issues and diabetes.
It is manufactured in Latvia and widely used in eastern Europe, but it not approved for use in the United States.
It was developed to treat patients with heart conditions such as angina, chronic heart failure, cardiomyopathy and other cardiovascular disorders.
Maria Sharapova received a 15-month ban after traces of the drug were found in a doping test in 2016.
After a period of consulation, meldonium it was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list in January 2016.
The drug can help to adjust the body’s use of energy and boost stamina and endurance.
It has been reported by insidethegames that Krushelnytsky has told Russian officials that he fears a team-mate at the training camp in Japan who was not selected for Pyeongchang 2018 spiked his drink with the banned substance before he travelled to South Korea.
Depending on the results of the B sample, it could be a huge embarrassment for the International Olympic Committee, which has drawn criticism for allowing individuals from the country to compete here in Pyeongchang despite accusation of a state-sponsored doping system.
The International Olympic Committee said anti-doping was independent of it at the Games, so it could not comment on individual cases.
An IOC spokesperson said in a statement: ‘However, we take note of the statement by a spokesperson of the Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR) delegation.
‘On the one hand it is extremely disappointing when prohibited substances might have been used, but on the other hand it shows the effectiveness of the anti-doping system at the Games which protects the rights of all the clean athletes.
The Olympic athlete from Russia (right) won bronze in the mixed doubles curling last week
Bryzgalova, will also be stripped of her bronze medal if his B sample comes back positive
‘If the case is confirmed, it will be considered by the OAR implementation group – chaired by IOC executive board (EB) member Nicole Hoevertsz – which will report to the IOC EB at the end of the Olympic Games.’
The Russian Olympic Committee is under suspension by the IOC following the systemic doping at the Sochi 2014 Olympics.
The IOC in December determined that Russian athletes who proved they were clean would be allowed to compete as neutrals in the Games.
The OAR are competing under the Olympic flag and the Olympic anthem is being played at any medal ceremonies they feature in.
There are 168 athletes competing in the OAR team, who have so far won 11 medals, three silvers and eight bronzes.
Krushelnitsky is reported to have told officials that his drink was spiked by a scorned rival
Guide to the Games