Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
Grigory Laguta, a former Russian and Latvian speedway champion, has been sanctioned with a two year ban by the Polish Anti-Doping Agency (POLADA) following an adverse analytical finding for meldonium. A statement from Poland’s PGE ExtraLiga speedway league revealed that Laguta returned an adverse analytical finding (AAF) following an 11 June sample taken when his speedway club, ROW Rybnik, was competing against Włókniarz Częstochowa.
Laguta, a Russian, will be banned from 11 June 2017 until 12 June 2019. ‘If a member of a team is found to have committed a violation of these Anti- Doping Rules during an Event (Competition) where a team ranking is based on the addition of individual results, the results of the rider committing the violation will be subtracted from the team result and replaced with the results of the next applicable team member’, reads Article 11.3 of the International Motorcycle Federation’s (FIM) Anti-Doping Code.
ROW Rybnik loses Laguta’s points, but the club was already relegated from the PGE ExtraLiga after finishing in last place. Laguta has 14 days from the 15 September decision to launch an appeal. Meldonium was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Prohibited List in 2016. To read more about the issues its addition caused for Russian and eastern European athletes, click here.