11 February 2016

Ukrainian biathlete tests positive for meldonium

The Ukrainian Biathlon Federation has confirmed that Olga Abramova (pictured) has tested positive for meldonium. ‘The Biathlon Federation of the Ukraine confirms that on 7 February 2016, we received notice from the International Biathlon Union that meldonium had been detected in a sample taken from the athlete Olga Abramova on 10 January 2016’, read a statement. ‘On clarification of the circumstances and medical indications, we have found that Abramova took the drug in November 2015 according to a doctor’s prescription.

As reported by the Sports Integrity Initiative, meldonium was approved for addition to the 2016 Prohibited List, which came into force on 1 January 2016, after being approved by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in September last year. The drug was also responsible for a positive reported by Team Katusha cyclist Eduard Vorganov, who returned an AAF for meldonium following an out-of-competition test on 14 January. Team Katusha denied responsibility for Vorgarov’s positive and avoided suspension by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) on Tuesday.

Abramova is Russian in origin, but is understood to have changed her nationality in 2012 due to lack of success in the Russian team. Since then, she has taken third place in the relay at a stage of the 2013/14 and 2015/16 Biathlon World Cups. She also took two gold medals at the IBU Summer Biathlon World Championships last year. Sanctions will be determined at a later date by the IBU.

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