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DOPING

Norwegian biathlon champ: ‘Make clear example’ out of doping Russians

Olympic biathlon champion Martin Fourcade of France has threatened to lead a boycott of the sport's World Cup series unless the international federation takes tough action against Russian doping.

Norwegian biathlon champ: 'Make clear example' out of doping Russians
Norwegian biathlon champ Emil Hegle Svendsen said he would support a ban of the Russians. Photo: Primoz Lovric / NTB scanpix
Fourcade and other top biathlon competitors, including Norway's 2010 Olympic champ Emil Hegle Svendsen, are furious after the International Biathlon Union said 31 suspicious Russian cases had been raised in the latest report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
 
“It's not like it's only one or two. It's 31 added to the 12 we had over the few past years in biathlon,” French champion Fourcade told Norwegian television channel NRK.
 
“If my federation don't get big balls enough to tackle the problem, athletes have to do it on their own,” added Fourcade, winner of 10 world championship titles, speaking from a World Cup event in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic on Thursday.
 
“If nothing is done in January I will ask my colleagues in international teams, I mean Norway, I mean Germany, I mean Czech Republic, I mean all the nations, to not compete. I will be proud to do it for my sport to be clean,” he said. 
 
For his part, Svendsen said “the IBU must make a clear example to show that this will not be tolerated. I support the IBU if they do it.”
 
Norway's Anders Besseberg, the IBU president, told NRK he could not exclude a total ban on Russian athletes.
 
An IBU body investigating cases brought up by the McLaren inquiry into doping in all Russian sport held its first meeting on Thursday.
 
“Following the report publication, the IBU received 31 executive summaries on investigations related to Russian athletes,” said an IBU statement.
 
“At the moment the group is still reviewing and evaluating the evidentiary disclosure packages that contain detailed information on each individual case.”
 
The expert group is to recommend disciplinary action to the IBU executive board on December 22nd. The 31 athletes involved have not yet been named.
 
“The IBU is truly appalled and deeply saddened by the findings of the McLaren report. The IBU has always emphasised clean sport, the fight against doping and protection of clean athletes as its top priorities,” said the statement.

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WINTER OLYMPICS

Russian curler stripped of Olympic medal for doping

Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky was stripped of his Pyeongchang Winter Olympics bronze medal Thursday after admitting doping, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said.

Russian curler stripped of Olympic medal for doping
Alexander Krushelnitsky and Anastasia Bryzgalova celebrate after winning the mixed doubles curling bronze match. Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

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. But the World Curling Federation said separately that they would now receive their bronze medals “in due course”.

READ ALSO: Norwegian curler wants case resolved after Russian drugs test fail