December 4, 2018 / 7:00 PM / 5 days ago

CAS imposes four-year ban on Russian curler Krushelnitsky

FILE PHOTO: Curling – Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics – Mixed Doubles Bronze Medal Match - Olympic Athletes from Russia v Norway - Gangneung Curling Center - Gangneung, South Korea – February 13, 2018 - Alexander Krushelnitsky, an Olympic athlete from Russia. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton

(Reuters) - The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) handed Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky a four-year ban on Tuesday following a positive dope test at the Pyeongchang Olympics in February.

The Russian and his wife Anastasia Bryzgalova were stripped of their mixed doubles bronze at the time of the Games in South Korea after an in-competition test for the banned substance Meldonium.

The Swiss-based CAS said in a statement that the sanction was the final one delivered by the anti-doping division set up for the Pyeongchang Games.

It said the four-year “period of ineligibility” would run from Feb. 12, 2018 — the day the curler had accepted a provisional suspension.

A CAS hearing in February had found Krushelnitsky guilty, with the Russian agreeing to return his medal along with his wife’s.

CAS said on Tuesday the sole arbitrator found that Krushelnitsky “could not establish the source of Meldonium in his sample and that his defence arguments were not supported by reliable or credible evidence.”

It added that because the athlete could not establish that his use of Meldonium was non-intentional, “he did not qualify for the elimination or reduction of any period of ineligibility.”

The arbitrator’s decision can be appealed.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis

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