Attacker of the Russia national team and Dynamo Moscow, Alexey Bugaychuk, has been found positive to meldonium which has been on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) list of substances banned from use by athletes since this year, as was confirmed by the Russian Federation on Wednesday after reports by Russian news agency TASS.
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.”
The player was immediately suspsended pending further investigation, which means the Federation is awaiting the FINA and WADA decision on this matter, and therefore Bugaychuk will not take part in the upcoming Olympic Qualification Tournament in Trieste (April 3-10) with the national team of head coach Erkin Shagaev.
Meldonium has ravaged Russian sports recently with several well known sports figures testing positive on the drug including tennis player Maria Sharapova and swimming star Yulia Efimova. Bugaychuk looks to the first water polo player to be tested positive to meldonium.
The absence of Bugaychuk in Trieste will be a blow to the Russian team as the shooter emerged a stronghold in attack for the Russian men. The Dynamo Moscow player finished 2nd to team-mate Dmitrii Kholod (11 hits) on offence scoring 10 goals during the 2016 European Championships in Belgrade last January where Russia reached the quarterfinals and eventually finished in 8th place.