Russian cyclist Eduard Vorganov was suspended by his Katusha team on Friday for testing positive for meldonium which was only placed on the banned list last month. The 33-year-old becomes the second Katusha rider to fail a drugs test in 12 months after Italy’s Luca Paolini tested positive for cocaine on the 2015 Tour de France.
“We understand that the adverse analytical finding concerns the substance meldonium (also known as mildronate) which was placed on the prohibited list only on Jan 1, 2016,” said a team statement. “Team Katusha confirms that this substance has never been used by the team
in any form and was not provided to the rider by the team.”
Katusha added that Vorganov has been suspended from all team activities, effective immediately while his B sample is tested. Vorganov, a former Russian road race champion, joined Katusha in 2010 and
was 19th on the Tour de France in 2012, his best performance in the Grand Tours.
Russian track cyclist Yelena Brezhniva, a two-time European champion in the team sprint, has received a four-year suspension for doping, the country’s anti-doping agency said Thursday.
Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA — which has been found non-compliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for “routinely” violating international testing standards — said Brezhniva had been suspended for “violating anti-doping regulations,” without providing further details.
Her suspension will run from June 22, 2015, RUSADA said. Russia has vowed to fight doping after a WADA independent commission last
year released a report alleging state-sponsored doping and mass corruption in the country’s athletics.
The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF)provisionally suspended Russia over the report, sparking fears that Russian track and field stars could be sidelined from this summer’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Russia’s anti-doping laboratory was also suspended over the scandal.