PYEONGCHANG (South Korea) • The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics was hit by a third doping scandal yesterday, casting a dark shadow over the magic on ice served up by the peerless Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.
Slovenian men's ice hockey player Ziga Jeglic failed a drug test and has been banned from the Olympics, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said. The 29-year-old, who plays professionally in Russia, tested positive for fenoterol, a banned substance used to treat breathing difficulties, and was given 24 hours to leave the Olympic Village.
A day earlier, Russian Alexander Krushelnitsky, a bronze medallist with his wife Anastasia Bryzgalova in mixed doubles curling, was suspended over suspected doping.
Krushelnitsky, who had passed rigorous vetting to compete, said: "I, more than anyone else, am interested in an investigation as soon as possible to find out the reasons for what has happened.
"Not once in the whole time that I have been in sport have I taken any banned substance or competed dishonestly in any way."
The latest drug scandal hit just after one of the high points of the Games - the gold medal-winning performance of Virtue, 28, and Moir, 30, in the ice dance that made them the most-decorated Olympic skaters of all time.
In what is almost certainly their final appearance on the world stage, the Vancouver 2010 champions looked destined for silver after French rivals Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron broke their own free dance (123.35) and combined mark with a 205.28 effort.
But skating last, Virtue and Moir pulled out the dance of their lives under incredible pressure to earn 122.40 for a combined record total of 206.07 points and the gold.
American brother-and-sister act Maia and Alex Shibutani were third, more than 13 points behind on 192.59 after managing 114.86 in the free dance.
For Virtue and Moir, this was a record fifth medal to go with their Vancouver gold and the silvers they won in the team and ice dance at Sochi, and gold in last week's team event in Pyeongchang.
Told in the mixed zone that some rink experts were suggesting they were the greatest skaters of all time, Virtue said with a laugh: "Where are these people? That's incredibly flattering, it's hard to wrap our heads around, especially so close to the event."
The duo led after Monday's short programme, in which Papadakis suffered an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction. Wearing a backless all-in-one number this time with no annoying clips to become unfastened, she and Cizeron could not have done any more in their bid to become only France's second champions in this discipline likened to ballroom dancing on ice.
Their elegant and seamless routine to Beethoven's Piano and Moonlight sonatas earned a row of level fours from the judges. Papadakis fell into Cizeron's arms crying before they left the ice.