Official RUR statement on doping violations


Official RUR statement on doping violations

The Rugby Union of Russia (RUR) acknowledges two of our athletes have been provisionally suspended from competition following positive tests for the banned substance meldonium (mildronate).

Men’s sevens player Alexei Mikhaltsov and women’s sevens player Alena Mikhaltsova (née Bogacheva) tested positive following World Rugby out-of-competition testing in early 2016. Both have been notified of the positive tests. The pair are husband and wife.

The adverse analytical findings have resulted in suspensions in accordance with World Anti-Doping Agency compliant World Rugby Regulation 21, in particular World Rugby Regulation

The dates of suspension are effective February 4 for Alexei and February 26 for Alena.

The RUR is a staunch advocate of anti-doping in sport and strictly adheres to the WADA Code. The RUR is also a full and active supporter of World Rugby’s Keep Rugby Clean initiative. As such, the RUR extends a zero-tolerance approach to doping violations and both athletes have been provisionally suspended from all competition.

The Russian Federal Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) on September 30, 2015, officially announced that meldonium would be entered onto the World Anti-Doping Agency List of Prohibited Substances and Methods from January 1, 2016. The substance belongs with WADA’s S4 class (hormones and metabolic modulators).

This move was posted on the RUR’s official website in the Anti-Doping section and the RUR embarked on a period of education to inform athletes and doctors working with the RUR that meldonium would be banned from the start of this year.

Despite these efforts, traces of the banned substance meldonium were found in samples taken from two national senior team players, and both players are provisionally suspended pending the next phase of World Rugby’s disciplinary process.

Neither the RUR nor World Rugby will make any further comment until this process is complete.