MOSCOW, March 30. /TASS/. Russian national team’s water polo player Alexei Bugaichuk tested positive for banned substance meldonium, a source familiar with the situation told TASS on Wednesday.
"Meldonium’s fallout in low concentration was discovered in Bugaichuk’s doping test," the source told TASS. "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 [Bugaichuk] refused from Sample B test and wrote a relevant letter to the FINA [the International Swimming Federation]," the source said. "FINA suspended him immediately from all tournaments until a decision on behalf of an expert commission."
Bugaichuk was subjected to a doping test on January 18 at the 2016 Men's European Water Polo Championship, held in Serbia’s Belgrade on January 10-23.
"After that, Bugaichuk was tested twice for performance enhancing drugs and each time results were negative," the source said. "Almost all of the team’s players were tested for doping at that time and all results were negative."
Russian sports was hit early this month by a new case in a chain of doping-related scandals after some of the country’s athletes tested positive for banned substance meldonium.
The drug meldonium (mildronate) was included in the list of preparations banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency from January 1, 2016, after which several Russian athletes tested positive for the banned substance. The presence of the meldonium substance in the athlete’s blood during and between competitions is a violation of anti-doping rules. The substance belongs to S4 class on the WADA blacklist (hormones and metabolic modulators).
Two weeks ago WADA spokesman Ben Nichols told TASS: "As for meldonium, I can confirm there have been 123 adverse analytical findings (positive samples) since the substance was prohibited on 1st January 2016."