Is no sport safe from bad behavior?

Whenever I rail against unethical and rude behavior in sports, fans of curling have pointed out to me that that game exhibits the highest standards of sportsmanship and it did seem to be the case and I became a convert. Hence I was saddened to read about bad behavior in curling. In one case, a Russian curler was stripped of his Winter Olympics bronze medal after he admitted to doping

Krushelnitsky had initially protested his innocence after testing positive for the banned heart drug meldonium, claiming his drink had been spiked. However on Thursday he dropped his appeal before he was officially banned by the court of arbitration for sport.

It means that the medal won by Krushelnitsky and his wife Anastasia Bryzgalova will be awarded to the Norway pair of Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten, who had originally finished fourth.

Then we had the recent case of the Canadian gold medal winner at the 2014 games and his fellow team mates getting kicked out of a tournament for drunken rowdiness.

Canadian curling lived up to its freewheeling, no-holds-barred reputation on Sunday as an Olympic champion’s team was kicked out of a tournament because they were “extremely drunk”.

Ryan Fry, who won curling gold for Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympics, and his teammates Jamie Koe, Chris Schille, and DJ Kidby forfeited their final match at the Red Deer Curling Classic after complaints from opponents and fans.

“They went out to curl and they were extremely drunk and breaking brooms and swearing and just unacceptable behaviour that nobody wants to watch or hear or listen to and it was just ‘enough was enough,’” facility manager Wade Thurber told CBC Sports.

“There was some damage in the locker room and other teams complaining about their stuff being kicked around in the locker room. So at the end of the day, it was like ‘OK, that’s enough of this gong show.’ The committee for the bonspiel collectively decided that we needed to remove them from the spiel for this year and what happens down the road, I’m not sure yet.”

I hope the authorities take strong action so as to restore the reputation of curling.


  1. scottbelyea says

    “kicked out of a tournament because they were “extremely drunk”.”

    The articles which I saw in two Canadian papers were perhaps more specific as to the curling culture. They wrote that the players were “too drunk.” A nice distinction …

  2. Rob Grigjanis says

    Has any human activity ever been safe from bad behaviour, or at the very least, disappointment? As Eliot noted;

    Between the idea
    And the reality
    Between the motion
    And the act
    Falls the Shadow

  3. ridana says

    I knew this was going to be about curling! It was the most innocuous sport I could think of before reading.

    But doping? oO I don’t know much about the sport, but it has never struck me as one requiring either endurance or muscle. It looks more like strategy and finesse. How would doping help them?

  4. jrkrideau says

    @ 1 scottbelyea
    They wrote that the players were “too drunk.
    Sounds reasonable to me. I am not a curler but as a Canadian I don’t see why one should be a teetotaler to play the game.

  5. jrkrideau says

    @ 4 ridana
    It was the most innocuous sport I could think of
    Well we could consider lawn bowling. It worked for Sir Francis Drake.

    Actually it can be rather hypnotic.

  6. Rob Grigjanis says

    jrkrideau @5:

    as a Canadian I don’t see why one should be a teetotaler to play the game.

    The game originated in Scotland. It’s reasonable to assume that alcohol played a major role in its nativity. Skimming the internet Research supports this idea.

    In Scotland, the first evidence of whisky production comes from an entry in the Exchequer Rolls for 1494 where malt is sent “To Friar John Cor, by order of the king, to make aquavitae”, enough to make about 500 bottles.

    Evidence that curling existed in Scotland in the early 16th century includes a curling stone inscribed with the date 1511…

  7. mailliw says

    Appalling, I expect next we will be hearing about the problems of hooliganism among croquet fans.

    Ridana @4

    How would doping help them?

    Beta-blockers, as they lower the heart rate, have been widely used in sports requiring concentration and accuracy -- archery, shooting and golf for example; curling would fit into that pattern.

  8. Rob Grigjanis says

    According to one American history of the game [croquet], ‘it had become associated with gambling, drinking, and philandering to such an extent that it was banned in Boston by one Reverend Skinner’, and there were several articles in the American press calling for its suppression as an ‘immoral practice’.

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