Vitaly Melnikov (RUS) handed eight-year ban after second positive drug test

Russian swimmer Vitaly Melnikov has been handed an eight-year ban by the International Swimming Federation (FINA) Doping Panel after failing an out-of-competition drug test.

The 26-year-old tested positive for a growth hormone on March 29, with the swimmer now set to be banned until April 21, 2024.

Melnikov had previously served a two-year doping suspension from 2013 to 2015, after a positive test at the 2013 European Short Course Championships.

On that occasion, he was found to have taken the banned blood booster erythropoietin, leading to the swimmer being stripped of a 100m backstroke silver and a 4x50m medley relay gold from the Championships.

He is now set to be stripped of all results achieved on or after March 29, including having to forfeit any medals and prizes and reimburse any prize money won.

Melnikov had missed out on qualifying to represent Russia at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

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