By Bethany Stewart
At the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, there has been a controversial doping incident, with the Russian mixed doubles curling team, who are competing under the Olympic name rather than Russia’s.
Yes, a curling team had a doping epidemic. Alexander Krushelnyski failed a doping test during the 2018 Winter Olympics.
With this failed test, Krushelnytski jeopardizes the bronze medal he won in the mixed doubles competition in which he was curling alongside his wife. This doping incident from Russia almost comes as no surprise, as a cheating scheme at the 2014 Sochi Games that was hosted in Russia has left the Russian team a controversial group.
The most surprising fact about this case is that these athletes are curling, not skiing down hill at eighty miles per hour, performing tricks on the ice, or flipping through the air on the half-pipe. Sophomore Amy Brinster comments, “I think that it is so weird that a curler is the athletes that got in trouble for using drugs.” Rarely do you hear that there are doping violations in curling. People claim that the reason a doping incident would occur is because curling does take endurance to sweep the broom round after round against the ice. However, curling is not typically considered a sport that has drug issues and violations.
In a urine check, Krushelnytski was found to have traces of meldonium in his system. This is a heart medication that increases the flow of blood and is banned from most sports since 2016. Krushelnytski and his wife did not compete in the other team events because of this. The drug is thought to enhance endurance and would possibly play a role in curling by increasing the stamina of athletes. Constant, hard sweeping can become tiresome during a long match. Senior AJ Patel says, “I wish that this was not something occuring in the Olympics. These people are supposed to be role models.” Patel mentions an important idea. These world-class athletes are in the spotlight and should be displaying proper sportsmanship. Overall, this incident should be a lesson to all Olympic Athletes.