CAS to set date for Russian medalist doping case

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Hearing in the case of Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky, who tested positive for the banned substance meldonium, has yet to be scheduled, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

If the parties want a hearing, it will be fixed before the end of the week,” CAS said on Wednesday.

Krushelnitsky, who won bronze medal in PyeongChang with his wife in mixed doubles curling, has denied taking banned substances.

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.

Meldonium is a banned substance which can aid endurance.

The doping case has come at a delicate time for Russia, which has been accused of running a state-backed, systematic doping programme for years, an allegation Moscow denies.

Russians are competing at PyeongChang as neutral athletes, and the country would have been hoping that a clean record at the Games would enable it to return to full Olympic status.

Speaking at a news conference in Moscow, Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov said he hoped the doping case would not influence the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision on the country’s status.

Unlike other Russian officials who have suggested Krushelnitsky’s food or drinks could have been spiked, Kolobkov warned on Wednesday against hastily jumping to conclusions.

Let’s not make any assessments,” he said. “Let’s not call it a provocation, not say that someone spiked something. We just need to elucidate what happened.”