Have you been following the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea?
If you have, you should already know that — because of doping at the Sochi, Russia games four years ago — the Russian National Team was barred from competing at these games. Russian athletes that were allowed to compete marched in under the name ‘Olympic Athletes from Russia’ (OAR) and under the Olympic flag.
Well…what would the Olympics be without some kind of scandal.
The New York Times reported Sunday (2/18) that a Russian athlete may lose his bronze medal after failing a preliminary drug test. The athlete –Alexander Krushelnytsky — competes not in skiing. Not in speed skating. Not even in ice hockey. His sport:
Yes…curling. The same sport a good friend of mine in the radio biz described (in jest) on Facebook as:
“The most fun you can have on ice with doorstops and a Swiffer while wearing bedroom shoes !”
To be fair…the drug that was found was meldonium — a heart medication that helps increase blood flow. It’s not really known why the athlete was taking it…but that substance has been banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency since 2016. Testing is part of a review of that ruling to determine how long the drug stays in the system.
The Times article reports that the increase of blood flow, scientists say, could increase oxygen to muscles…meaning more endurance. Curling is not cross-country skiing, but the vigorous ‘sweeping’ of curling could make more endurance a benefit.
The article says Krushelnytsky competed in mixed doubles…and did most of the sweeping. Hmm.
In any case…because of this Russia will remain under scrutiny because these athletes competing under the Olympic flag were said to be put through a rigorous testing regimen to even be allowed to compete at these games.
Goes to prove the more things change…the more they stay the same.
But ‘juicing’ in curling??!! Come on.