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Winter Olympics Norwegian curler feels ‘robbed’ of Olympic glory due to Russian doping

NORWEGIAN curler Magnus Nedregotten, who lost out on the Olympic bronze medal to a Russian rival charged with doping, said today that he feels robbed of his moment of glory.

Nedregotten and his partner finished fourth in mixed doubles last week after losing 8-4 to Alexander Krushelnitsky and his wife Anastasia Bryzgalova. The Court of Arbitration for Sport said yesterday that Krushelnitsky had failed a doping test. Russian officials said he tested positive for meldonium, which was banned in 2016.

Nedregotten said that, if Krushelnitsky is found guilty, then “they’ve robbed us of our moment of glory, receiving our medal in the stadium.”

“That’s not cool,” Nedregotten said. “That’s hard to accept, feeling that you’ve been kept out of the light.”

Nedregotten and his partner Kristin Skaslien were visibly distressed when they lost out on the bronze to the Russian pair. In an interview after the match, Skaslien said she and Nedregotten had struggled to keep up with the Russians, who led from the start. True to curling’s strict adherence to good sportsmanship, Skaslien also made a point to compliment the Russians on their performance after the game, saying they had played a very good match.

The Norwegians’ feelings toward the Russians have clearly soured since then, with Nedregotten saying that he and Skaslien were angry when they first heard that Krushelnitsky had tested positive.

“That we’ve been struggling through the Olympics and trying hard to reach our goal, which was a medal, and then we ended up in fourth and now knowing that they may have had an advantage against us in our games through cheating feels horrible,” Nedregotten said.

Russians are participating at the Pyeongchang Games as “Olympic Athletes from Russia.” The International Olympic Committee suspended the Russian Olympic Committee last year in connection with a massive doping scheme at the 2014 Sochi Games but allowed 168 athletes to compete in neutral uniforms and without the national flag.

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

However, Sozin went on to accuse United States security services of somehow putting “something” into Krushelnitsky’s water or tampering with his drug test sample. He didn’t speculate on how that could have happened.

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