Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A Russian Olympic athlete is suspected of taking performance enhancing drugs. In other news: grass is green, water is wet and Mac has given up on sports. This should come as a surprise to absolutely no one considering the fact that Russia was banned from competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang due to a systemic state-sponsored doping program. While some Russian athletes were allowed to compete in the Winter Olympic Games (168, to be exact), they were prohibited from wearing Russian colors or flying Russia’s flag and none of their medals will be attributed to Russia in the official record books. Instead, they are competing under the Olympic flag with the name “Olympic Athletes from Russia”. So again, it shouldn’t exactly shock anyone that a Russian athlete is being accused of doping. What is surprising is the sport that is impacted by these latest allegations: curling.
I thought curling was the one place in the sports world where we could get away from all the corruption and bullshit. After all, the sport allows its athletes to police themselves during competition. And now this sonofabitch went and ruined the one sport left that was still pure. This is why we can’t have nice things! Alexander Krushelnytsky reportedly tested positive for meldonium, a PED prevalent in Eastern European countries. The results of a “B sample” test will determine if the allegations are true. I hope he makes the most of his time with that bronze medal that he and his wife earned as OAR’s mixed doubles curling team, because I have a feeling it’s going to Norway soon. One unconfirmed report claims that Krushelnytsky fears that a teammate may have slipped the banned substance into his drink during a training event prior to the Olympics, likely because the teammate was not chosen to compete at the Olympics. Around here we call that the Frank Solich excuse.
If we’re being honest though, how the hell does doping even help with curling? It seems like the sport relies much more heavily on strategy and intelligence than strength or physical conditioning. This duo probably would’ve still gotten bronze had he not been doping, so why even do it? It’ll be interesting to see how the IOC handles this if it is confirmed that he did in fact take a performance enhancing substance. Will the Olympic Athletes of Russia be banned from competing under that name in the 2020 summer games? Will we see the Olympic Athletes of OAR competing under a plain white flag? Does anyone even care? I’m sure all of our questions will he answered soon. One thing I can say for sure, I’ll never be able to look at the sport of curling the same way again after this. I may just join Mac on Team Done-With-Sports.