FINA has officially banned Russian swimmer Vitaly Melnikov for two years for a failed drug test at the 2013 Short Course European Championships. This concludes a provisional suspension that was awarded on April 2, 2014.
The suspension is backdated, beginning on December 12, 2013, or when Melnikov officially presented the urine samples that would later test positive. He will be ineligible through this coming December 12, including this summer’s World Championships, which Russia is hosting.
As this is Melnikov’s first offense, his positive result specifically violates FINA’s doping code rule 10.2, which imposes a period of two years’ ineligibility on the athlete. Additionally, Melnikov will be stripped of any and all awards, medals, prizes, etc that were earned after the December 12, 2013 date.
Melnikov won two medals at the 2013 Short Course European Championships, taking silver in the 100 back and gold as the leadoff leg of the 4×50 medley relay. Both medals will be forfeited.
That moves France’s Camille Lacourt and Great Britain’s Chris Walker-Hebborn up to a tie for silver in the 100 back and Italy moves up to be officially recorded as the gold medal winners in the medley relay.