An Olympic medal winning swimmer linked to Russia’s state-run doping scandal has tested positive for the banned meldonium, the US Anti-Doping Agency announced.
Nikita Lobintsev was already one of seven Russian swimmers banned from competing in the Rio Olympics by the International Swimming Federation (FINA) and USADA did not impose a new ban over the case.
On Thursday, the University of South California said it had suspended Russians Lobintsev and Vladimir Morozov from competing with its team.
USADA said the 27-year-old Lobintsev had been using meldonium for the past seven years. It was prescribed by Russia team doctors, who told him it would help strengthen his heart. Meldonium was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list at the beginning of 2016.
“The disturbing pattern of use associated with this performance-enhancing drug appears to be one more example of growing practice in sport in which coaches ask for, physicians prescribe, and athletes use pharmaceuticals not for their primary purpose of health and wellness but to enhance athletic performance,” said USADA chief executive Travis Tygart in a statement.
Lobintsev, who told USADA he stopped using the drug 10 months ago, tested positive for meldonium on June 16 in an out-of-competition test.
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