Russian curler stripped of Winter Olympics medal for doping

Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky was stripped of his Pyeongchang Winter Olympics bronze medal Thursday after being found guilty of doping. (AFP)
Updated 22 February 2018

Russian curler stripped of Winter Olympics medal for doping

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea: Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky was stripped of his Pyeongchang Winter Olympics bronze medal Thursday after admitting doping, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said.
The 25-year-old was one of 168 Russian athletes who passed rigorous testing to compete as neutrals in Pyeongchang after Russia were banned over a major doping scandal.
“The athlete has admitted the anti-doping rule violation; he is disqualified from the mixed doubles curling event,” the court said in a statement.
Krushelnitsky, who won mixed doubles bronze along with his wife, Anastasia Bryzgalova, has protested his innocence and officials have hinted at foul play.
But Krushelnitsky decided not to contest Thursday’s CAS hearing, saying it was “stupid to deny” testing positive for meldonium, an endurance booster.
However, CAS said Krushelnitsky, who is provisionally suspended, “reserved his rights to seek the elimination or reduction of any period of ineligibility based on ‘no fault or negligence’ following the conclusion of the Games.”
The International Olympic Committee will this week decide whether to lift Russia’s suspension in time for Russian athletes to carry the national flag at Sunday’s closing ceremony, taking into account the conduct of their athletes in Pyeongchang.
Norway’s Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten lost out to Krushelnitsky and Bryzgalova in the bronze medal play-off. Reallocating the medal is down to the World Curling Federation and the International Olympic Committee, CAS said.


Australia can win basketball World Cup, says USA coach

Updated 22 August 2019

Australia can win basketball World Cup, says USA coach

MELBOURNE: United States coach Gregg Popovich has tipped Australia as a key contender at the upcoming basketball World Cup in China, saying they have the ability to win the tournament.
The veteran San Antonio Spurs mastermind offered the praise ahead of two warm-up games between the nations in Melbourne this week.
“They are one of the teams that can win the whole thing, without a doubt,” Popovich said. “I’m not saying that because I’m here (in Melbourne). It’s just a fact.”
The world number one Americans will try to win a third consecutive World Cup next month with a line-up that lacks many of their NBA superstars, with the likes of James Harden, Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard among notable absentees.
But they boast top young talent and will use the games in Australia to refine their identity.
They arrived in Melbourne on the back of a 90-81 victory over second-ranked Spain in Anaheim, California, and will play the Boomers later Thursday, then again Saturday before a final warm-up against Canada in Sydney on August 26.
In contrast to the five-time World Cup winners, Australia have never won a medal. But Popovich thinks this could be their year.
“They’ve been close for several years, and they are hungry. They are talented. Coach (Andrej) Lemanis does a good job, and they are a team,” he said on the USA basketball website.
“They are together. They know what they are doing. They execute really well, so that’s what it takes. They have the toughness and physicality to go with it.
“I think they are one of the top contenders without a doubt.”
While Australia boosts a handful of NBA stars, including Utah Jazz’s Joe Ingle and Patty Mills of the San Antonio Spurs, they suffered a setback on Monday when Jonah Bolden joined his teammate Ben Simmons in pulling out of the World Cup.
Other Australian NBA standouts not playing include Thon Maker (NBA commitments), Ryan Broekhoff (birth of his child) and Dante Exum (injury).