Eduard Vorganov, a Russian rider for Katusha, has tested positive for Meldonium in an out-of-competition test on 14 January 2016.
Meldonium is typically used to increase the blood flow of patients with chronic heart problems but can also increase the exercise capacity of healthy athletes. It was added to the World Anti Doping Agency’s prohibited list in 2015.
Vorganov was the winner of the 2012 Russian Road Race Championships and finished tenth overall at the Tour Down Under in the same year. He has ridden for Team Katusha since 2010.
Vorganov has the right to have his B sample tested and has been suspended until the conclusion of the affair.
A statement from his team said: “In accordance with Team Katusha’s zero tolerance policy, Eduard Vorganov has been suspended from all team activities, effective immediately. In the event that Eduard Vorganov took this product on his own initiative, Team Katusha will conduct an investigation as such conduct is in breach of the Team’s strict medical and anti-doping internal rules.
“With that said, Eduard Vorganov awaits the results of his B sample, and Team Katusha respects and will adhere to the process of the anti-doping authorities and will not comment further at this time.
“Team Katusha would like to emphasize that it takes all possible measures in order to avoid anti-doping rule violations within its team and is fully committed to fight doping. Team Katusha is obviously extremely disappointed that a situation like this could occur despite these measures.”
He is the second Katusha rider to have been caught with a banned substance in 12 months as Luca Paolini tested positive for cocaine after stage seven of the 2015 Tour de France. Katusha will be referred to the Disciplinary Commission for the infringements in the coming few days.