Russian water polo player Alexey Bugaychuk is the latest athlete to have reportedly tested positive for the drug meldonium, the same substance for which 100 breaststroke world champion Yulia Efimova and tennis star Maria Sharapova both tested positive this year.
Meldonium is a drug that increases blood flow in patients with ischemia, but it can also increase an athlete’s exercise capacity. It has been monitored by WADA since 2015 and was added to the WADA banned list starting at the beginning of 2016.
Russian news agency TASS reports that 27-year-old Bugaychuk tested positive for the drug at the 2016 Men’s European Water Polo Championship. Bugaychuk is just one of 123 total meldonium-related cases worldwide, which includes 23 Russians, although only 21 of the latter figure have been identified publicly.
According to a TASS Source, “Meldonium’s fallout in low concentration was discovered in Bugaychuk’s doping test. He never kept it a secret taking meldonium since it used to be legal. Last time he took it in October, when the medicine was still legal.”
“The level of concentration revealed by the test shows that he took the substance last time in October. He [Bugaychuk] refused from Sample B test and wrote a relevant letter to the FINA [the International Swimming Federation]. FINA suspended him immediately from all tournaments until a decision on behalf of an expert commission,” described the source to TASS.
“After that,Bugaychuk was tested twice for performance enhancing drugs and each time results were negative. Almost all of the team’s players were tested for doping at that time and all results were negative.”
InsidetheGames has compiled the following list of Russian athletes from across all sports known to have tested positive for meldonium.
|Semion Elistratov||Short track speed skating|
|Pavel Kulizhnikov||Speed skating|
|Ekaterina Bobrova||Figure skating|
|Jekaterina Konstantinova||Short track speed skating|
|Alexey Bugaychuk||Water polo|