Road To The Olympic Games

Nadezhda Kotlyarova is 1st Russian track athlete to test positive for meldonium

Russian sprinter Nadezhda Kotlyarova has tested positive for meldonium, a substance banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency since Jan. 1 this year, TASS news agency reported on Sunday.

IAAF has yet to lift Russia's cheating ban

Kotlyarova, left, is the first Russian track-and-field athlete to test positive for meldonium since the ban (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Russia's first track-and-field athlete has tested positive for meldonium since the substance was banned, heaping further pressure on the country's athletics federation as it fights to have a doping ban repealed in time for the 2016 Olympic Games.
Twelve Russian sportsmen and women have tested positive for meldonium since it was banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Jan. 1, including world tennis star Maria Sharapova and speed skating Olympic gold-medallist Semion Elistratov.
Despite warnings from sports officials that a number of other Russian competitors could have taken the substance, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told Reuters last week meldonium had nothing to do with athletics in his country.
But 26-year-old sprinter and 2013 European Championship sliver-medallist Nadezhda Kotlyarova has now tested positive for the substance, the state-owned TASS news agency reported her trainer as saying on Sunday.
"Nadezhda took this substance on her doctors' recommendation for at least half a year but then stopped using it," TASS quoted trainer Sergei Vorobyev as saying.
"No one told us how long this drug remains in the body. It is a strange situation."
Kotlyarova's positive test will undermine efforts by the Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) to prove it is compliant with anti-doping standards after being suspended from international competition last year following revelations of wide-spread cheating and corruption.
As things stand, Russian athletes will be barred from competing at this summer's Olympics, a humiliating blow to the reputation of a sports superpower where success is seen as integral to national pride.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has said Russia has "significant work to do" before it is reinstated and a final decision will be taken in May.

Broadcast Partners


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.