Olympic bronze medals won by Russian curlers Krushelnitsky, Bryzgalova returned to IOC

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Olympic bronze medals won by Russian curlers Krushelnitsky, Bryzgalova returned to IOC

Krushelnitckii reportedly accepted the court decision.

However, controversy has followed the team, with bronze-medal mixed doubles curler Alexander Krushelnitsky testing positive for meldonium.

Krushelnitsky is likely to lose his medal because of the positive test, Russian Curling Federation senior vice president Andrei Sozin told the AP.

The Russian Olympic delegation in PyeongChang has launched an investigation into the case and said on Tuesday that it could not explain how meldonium had made its way into Krushelnitsky's body.

The 25-year-old delivered a positive sample for meldonium but later insisted he was not to blame, while OAR released a statement that said it was pursuing a criminal investigation to ascertain how he came to have the substance in his system.

Meldonium, which was banned in 2016, is a drug that increases blood flow and improves exercise capability in athletes.

The Norway team will now receive the bronze medal after Krushelnitsky's and Bryzgalova's win was struck off.

According to TASS, Russia's Curling Federation has asked the country's investigative committee to look into the possibility of Krushelnitckii's food or drinks being spiked, including requesting CCTV footage from South Korea and Japan, where Russian curlers trained ahead of the Olympics. "I really hope and believe that this is temporary".

FILE - In this February 7, 2018, file photo, Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky practices ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea.

"We won a bronze medal by hard work and constant training", his statement read.

The 168 athletes who were allowed to compete had passed doping tests before the Olympics and only US and Canada had more numbers in South Korea than the neutral team.

"I am ready for the appropriate verdict, which in such cases is predictably identical", Krushelnitsky said in a statement published by RIA Novosti. The International Olympic Committee was expected to rule on whether the suspension would be lifted in time for the Russian athletes to enter the closing ceremonies under the Russian flag.

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