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Criminal probe into curler's dope test.

A CRIMINAL investigation has been opened into the circumstances which saw Winter Olympics medal-winning Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky test positive for meldonium, the Olympic Athletes from Russia team has announced.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport's anti-doping division opened a procedure against Krushelnitsky, who won mixed doubles bronze with his wife Anastasia Bryzgalova, on Monday and his B sample was also positive.

The OAR delegation released a statement yesterday evening to say "the circumstances of the case, do not provide any answers to the questions as to how and when meldonium could have gotten into the athlete's body".

For meldonium, which increases blood flow, to be performanceenhancing it must be used on a regular basis and over a prolonged period of time, the OAR statement added.

And the OAR said Krushelnitsky provided a clear drug sample on January 22.

The statement added: "According to the unbiased results of laboratory analysis of Alexander Krushelnitsky's samples, detected concentration of the substance can be indicative of taking it once, which is not applied in medical practice and is absolutely useless and ineffective in the context of enhancing physical performance or sports results.

"No evidence of the systematic usage of meldonium is available in this particular case.

"Therefore, the ROC has initiated a comprehensive investigation of the circumstances which also includes the criminal investigation under the RF (Russian Federation) criminal law to establish the facts of the case in detail."

Meldonium was found to be used by more than 100 Russian athletes in 2016. Former world tennis number one Maria Sharapova served a 15-month ban for using the substance after it was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's prohibited list.

The positive test will ignite further debate about the involvement of Russian athletes at the Games.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 21, 2018
Words:296
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