Russian medallist at Winter Olympics Games suspected of doping

Alexander Krushelnitsky with mixed-doubles curling partner Anastasia Bryzgalova. (Reuters)
Updated 18 February 2018

Russian medallist at Winter Olympics Games suspected of doping

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea: A Russian medallist at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics is suspected of having tested positive for a banned substance, a source at the Games said on Sunday, in a potential major blow to Russia’s efforts to emerge from a drug-cheating scandal.
Alexander Krushelnitsky, a bronze-medallist along with his wife in mixed-doubles curling, is suspected of having tested positive for meldonium, the source said. Meldonium increases blood flow which improves exercise capacity in athletes.
Krushelnitsky did not respond immediately to a request for comment. A spokesman for the Russian delegation at Pyeongchang said he had no immediate comment.
Russia has been accused of running a state-backed, systematic doping program for years, an allegation Moscow denies. As a result, its athletes are competing at Pyeongchang as neutral “Olympic Athletes from Russia” (OAR).
Russian sports officials are to meet anti-doping officers at Pyeongchang, the source said, adding that any violation would only be confirmed after analysis of a “B” sample.
Krushelnitsky and his wife, Anastasia Bryzgalova, won bronze in a game against Norway, which would take that medal if a doping violation were to be confirmed.
“I hope it’s not true ... for the sport of curling,” said Norwegian team skipper Thomas Ulsrud.
“If it’s true I feel really sad for the Norwegian team who worked really hard and ended up in fourth place and just left for Norway and they aren’t even here.”
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it had taken note of the case without going into details.
It said that if the case were to be confirmed, it would be considered by its OAR Implementation panel, the body in charge of monitoring the OAR team’s behavior at the Games.
“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,” an IOC spokesperson said.
As neutral athletes, the Russians are unable to have their anthem played in medal ceremonies or use national symbols.
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.
The code requires compliance with IOC anti-doping rules.


Premier League players’ ‘backs against wall’ over virus, says Rose

Updated 05 April 2020

Premier League players’ ‘backs against wall’ over virus, says Rose

  • Top-flight stars have come under increasing pressure to take pay cuts from govt officials

LONDON: Newcastle defender Danny Rose is willing to contribute a portion of his wages to those fighting the coronavirus outbreak but says Premier League players feel their “backs are against the wall.”

Top-flight stars have come under increasing pressure to take pay cuts from government officials after a number of clubs said they would use public money to subsidize pay for nonplaying staff.

The Premier League said on Friday that clubs would consult players over a combination of pay cuts and deferrals amounting to 30 percent of their annual salary.

They agreed to provide a £125 million ($153 million) fund for the English Football League and National League and pledged £20 million in charitable support for those affected by the coronavirus.

Talks were due to take place on Saturday between the league, clubs and players’ representatives.

Newcastle, where Rose is on loan, and his parent club, Tottenham, are among clubs to have furloughed some nonplaying staff during the crisis, prompting criticism as players continue to receive their full salary.

“We’re all keen to make something happen,” said Rose.

“I can only speak for myself but I would have no problems whatsoever contributing some of my wages to people who are fighting this on the front line and to people who have been affected by what’s happening at the minute.”

On Friday, a hospital in London identified Rose as the individual behind a £19,000 donation to hospital funds.

Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson led talks between Premier League club captains over what action they could take, a move that begun before Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Thursday joined those singling out footballers.

“We sort of feel our backs are against the wall,” Rose said. “Conversations were being had before people outside of football were commenting.

“I’ve been on the phone to Jordan Henderson and he’s working so hard to come up with something.

“It was just not needed for people who are not involved in football to tell footballers what they should do with their money. I found that so bizarre.”

Wolves captain Conor Coady said it was time for players to help out.

“It’s fantastic to see people trying to make the effort,” he said. “It’s something everyone wants to be part of. As footballers, it’s important we help as many people as possible.

“What’s come out now is the 30 percent cut. We get judged every single day of our lives. The time now is to go forward and make a donation.”

On Saturday, Burnley said they would face a shortfall of up to £50 million if the Premier League season could not be completed.

“It’s a completely unprecedented situation that we and other Premier League clubs face and which we could not have foreseen in anyway only just a few weeks ago,” said Burnley chairman Mike Garlick.

“It’s now not just about Burnley or any other individual club any more, it’s about the whole football ecosystem from the Premier League downwards and all the other businesses and communities that feed from that ecosystem.”