Russia has once again been slapped with doping allegations after curler and medalist Aleksandr Krushelnitchkii failed a preliminary doping test for a high dose of the heart-disease medication meldonium, the same drug that got Maria Sharapova suspended from tennis for two years. While authorities are exploring the potential of drug test "sabotage," the blowback has already begun.
In December, the IOC barred Russia from competing in the 2018 Olympics over a systemic doping scandal, but the IOC quickly backed down and allowed 169 Russian athletes to compete, just not under the Russian flag. Now Russia has been hit by the Krushelnitckii scandal.
The Wall Street Journal reports that a source told them that the bronze medalist in mixed doubles, which he performs with his wife, tested positive for high doses of meldonium. In fact, the dosage was so high that authorities are investigating the positive test as a possible "act of sabotage":
Because the dose of meldonium detected in Krushelnitckii’s urine sample was significantly higher than what would normally be read for a person treated with the drug, authorities are exploring the possibility that he was the victim of an act of sabotage, the person said.
The positive test is preliminary because antidoping authorities have yet to analyze the athlete’s control sample, which will possibly take place on Monday.
Whether or not the alleged doping case is legitimate, public backlash has begun, particularly online, where social media users had some fun with the curling theme. Below are some examples, funny, poignant, absurd and otherwise: