Russian backstroker Grigory Tarasevich has tested positive for meldonium, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced this week.
According to the USADA, 20-year-old Tarasevich, who swims stateside for the University of Louisville and will be representing Russia in Rio, tested positive via an in-competition urine sample he provided on March 4th of this year, as well as via an out-of-competition urine sample taken on March 29th. The former sample was collected at the Arena Pro Swim Series in Orlando, where Tarasevich claimed 2nd in the men’s 100m backstroke (53.84) and 3rd in the 200m backstroke (1:58.04). Those medals are now forfeited, per the USADA.
The USADA learned in its investigation that a physician in Russia had given Tarasevich a meldonium prescription in June 2015, telling the athlete the drug was to be used during periods of ‘intensive training.’ Tarasevich told the USADA that he used the substance during three separate two-week training periods in 2015, but the last time he reportedly used meldonium was in early October 2015. That is the time frame in which Tarasevich, along with the rest of the sporting world, learned that meldonium would be added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) list of prohibited substances effective January 1, 2016.
Tarasevich, an Onsk, Russia native, reportedly had an ‘extremely low meldonium concentration’ in his urine samples, which the USADA says is consistent with ingestion prior to the January 1 prohibited substance listing date. That, paired with the fact that WADA has extended its no-fault grace period for testing positive for meldonium in concentrations of less than 1mcg to September 20th, Tarasevich will not face any bans or suspensions and is cleared to compete in Rio.
You can read the entire USADA statement here.
Update: A University of Louisville spokeswoman has provided a statement by Grigory Tarasevich. You can read the statement in its entirety here.