Russian curlers implicated in the McLaren Report have escaped sanctions after the sport’s worldwide governing body announced that no further action would be taken against those involved.
The World Curling Federation (WCF) said in a statement that “insufficient evidence” to declare an anti-doping rule violation had been found following an investigation carried out by an independent legal expert.
The WCF analysed the data in the McLaren Report and the Moscow Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS).
The first edition of the report from Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren, published in July 2016, said two curlers were implicated in the “disappearing positive” methodology, where positive samples were switched for clean ones.
Their identities have not publicly been revealed, although two-time European champion Ekaterina Galkina was investigated for that reason.
Galkina’s name is hidden in the annex of the Evidence Disclosure Package released alongside the second edition of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-commissioned McLaren Report in December 2016, as an athlete in the “Save” programme whose positive samples were illegally labelled as clean.
WCF President Kate Caithness, elected to serve a third-term during the governing body’s Congress in Budapest yesterday, Sept. 9 said she was happy to draw a line under the issue.
“Ensuring a clean playing field in the sport of curling is a top priority for our Federation and I am glad that our sport can now move on from the sad revelations that these independent reports revealed,” said Caithness.
“My thanks go to the independent experts and the Russian Curling Federation for the support and cooperation that has helped us to reach this position.”
The International Biathlon Union remain the only winter governing body to have prosecuted an athlete based on evidence commissioned or obtained by WADA.
The evidence has been used by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to determine punishments against athletes from other sports, however, while other governing bodies are continuing their respective investigations.
Curling was responsible for one of the two positive tests at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.
Aleksandr Krushelnitckii tested positive for meldonium and was stripped of the mixed doubles bronze medal he won with wife Anastasia Bryzgalova.