Shell-Shocked Britain Out Of Men's Curling As Russian Doper is Stripped of Bronze

Britain missed out on a place in the men's curling semifinal after losing to Switzerland 9-5 in a playoff that saw Benoit Schwartz produce a rare five-pointer in the ninth end.

In the only contest in the arena, Britain started tightly and, hoping to match their women's team's progress to the semis, were 4-1 up after the first four ends but a couple of mistakes allowed the Swiss to level the score after six.

The Swiss were the more accurate team from then on and though the British had moved 5-4 ahead going into the ninth and still very much in contention, Schwarz applied the coup de grace, threading a superb final shot to leave five scoring stones and British coach Vicktor Kjell shell-shocked.

"I just don't know what happened in that ninth end, I thought we were the better team the whole game but they stepped it up," he said.

"We missed four or five shots in a row and you cannot afford to do that at this level. I thought we'd almost got away with it and then he plays a pistol shot and walks away with a five."

Cameron Smith and Kyle Waddell
Cameron Smith, left, and Kyle Waddell at Gangneung Curling Center, Gangneung, South Korea, February 22. Team GB was eliminated in a playoff. Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty

Britain, runners-up to Canada in Sochi four years ago, were forced into the playoff after being thrashed 10-4 in eight ends by the United States on Wednesday (February 21). Switzerland will now face Sweden in the semifinal on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Russian Olympic curler Alexander Krushelnitsky has been found guilty of an anti-doping violation after testing positive for the banned substance meldonium, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) say.

CAS said the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) mixed doubles curling team, who won bronze at the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, had been disqualified from the competition over the violation.

Krushelnitsky, who won the medal with his wife, had accepted a provisional suspension beyond the period of the Games, CAS said, adding that the athlete had "reserved his rights to seek the elimination or reduction of any period of ineligibility" following the Games.

The announcement came hours after CAS canceled the hearing into the case at the request of the International Olympic Committee, the World Curling Federation and Krushelnitsky himself.

Dmitry Svishchev, president of Russia's curling federation, said he hoped giving up the medal was a temporary measure.

"Unfortunately we have to part with the Olympic bronze medal," he said in a statement on the federation's website. "I really hope and believe that this is temporary."

The doping case has come at a delicate time for Russia, which has been accused of running a state-backed, systematic doping program for years, an allegation Moscow denies.

Russians are competing at Pyeongchang as neutral athletes, and Russia had been hoping that a clean record at the Games would enable it to return to full Olympic status.

Krushelnitsky and his wife Anastasia Bryzgalova have agreed to surrender their medals, according to the Russian curling federation.

Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov said on Wednesday he hoped the Pyeongchang doping case would not impact the IOC's deliberations on whether to let Russia regain full Olympic status.