Russian Bobsledder Fails Doping Test

Bartekova, a former Olympic skeet shooter from Slovakia, declined to comment on the failed test. A senior I.O.C. official who is aware of the panel’s thinking, said the members most likely would not take the new failed test into consideration because the process of evaluating the sample and confirming it contained a banned substance was not complete.

The athlete, Sergeeva, also may have mitigating reasons for taking the substance. The official said under normal circumstances, the I.O.C. would not have learned about the failed test this soon; they know now only because Russian officials publicly revealed it.

The official declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the drug test.


Sergeeva, right, and her bobsled teammate Anastasia Kocherzhova. Sergeeva is the second Russian athlete to fail a doping test at the Games.

Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

In addition to the two Russian positives, two athletes from other countries have failed drug tests at the Games — a Japanese speedskater and Slovenian hockey player.

The I.O.C. barred Russia from sending a delegation to the Winter Games, though 169 athletes were given special dispensation to compete as neutral athletes because they were able to prove to a special committee that they were clean.

Yet the possibility that Sergeeva used a banned substance, and the earlier case of the Russian curler, most likely will amplify doubts about the vetting of cleared athletes. Alexander Krushelnytsky, who won a bronze in mixed doubles curling, subsequently left the Games and dropped his appeal.

The head of Russia’s delegation in Pyeongchang told Sport Express, a Russian sports newspaper that broke the news of both failed tests, that the federation would conduct its own investigation into each one.

“Unfortunately, this case speaks of the negligence shown by the athlete,” said Stanislav Pozdnyakov, the leader of the Olympic Athletes from Russia delegation. “I can say that she seriously let us all down.”

The Russian Bobsled Federation president, Alexander Zubkov, told The Associated Press that Sergeeva had a clean test as recently as Feb. 13, and the banned substance was in a sample she provided five days later. He did not specify what was found, but he said he had spoken with Sergeeva.

A follow-up test is usually done to confirm the results. Russia was hit by a suite of punishments for the unprecedented doping scheme on Dec. 5. Scores of athletes, coaches and officials were barred from the Games.

The I.O.C. said it could welcome Russia back if it paid a $15 million fine and adheres to the global antidoping code. Russia confirmed it had paid the money Thursday. Until then, officials had said the fine would only be paid if it was clear the I.O.C. wouldn’t punish the country further.

An I.O.C. executive board member, Ugur Erdener, who will be part of the group that will make the decision, declined to confirm the case. “I know some things, but I cannot tell you all the secrets,” he said.

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