Russian athletes and sports officials in shock over Games doping scandal

Feb 12, 2018; Gangneung, South Korea; Aleksandr Krushelnitckii (OAR) during the curling mixed team semifinal in the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games at Gangneung Curling Centre. Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Vastavam web: Russian athletes and sports officials voiced disbelief on Monday that one of their Winter Games medallists was being investigated for suspected doping, a scandal that could imperil Russia’s efforts to regain full Olympic status.“It’s stupid, but Alexander is not stupid, so I don’t believe it,” Russian women’s curling coach Sergei Belanov said.

He echoed a general bewilderment among curling athletes who could not fathom why anyone would use drugs that aid endurance in a sport that is a kind of chess on ice, needing steady hands and concentration rather than physical fitness.Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call in Moscow that it was too early to draw conclusions about the ongoing probe.

Russian delegation spokesman Konstantin Vybornov told that Krushelnitsky had surrendered his Games accreditation and left the Olympic village while awaiting the result of a second sample later on Monday.The suspected doping violation has come at a delicate time for Russia which is trying to draw a line under years of drug-cheating scandals and is competing at Pyeongchang as neutral athletes, unable to use their own flag or national symbols.