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Russian Boxer Stripped of European Title After Positive Meldonium Test

Igor Mikhalkin

Russian boxer Igor Mikhalkin has been stripped of the European Boxing Union's (EBU) light heavyweight title and banned from the sport for two years after testing positive for meldonium, the state-run R-Sport news agency reported Monday.

Mikhalkin failed a doping test during a fight on March 12 in France, where he was defending his EBU title, the report said.

At least 40 Russian athletes have tested positive for meldonium since the drug was banned at the start of this year, according to Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko's figures, cited by R-Sport.

Russian athletes who failed doping tests for meldonium include tennis champion Maria Sharapova, swimmer Yulia Yefimova, ice dancer Yekaterina Bobrova, and more than 15 hockey players from Russia’s national under-18 men’s hockey World Championships roster.

State Duma lawmakers now have some questions for Russia's sports clubs that reportedly bought meldonium in late 2015 and early 2016, the head of the legislative chamber's sports, athletics and youth affairs committee, Dmitry Svishchev, was quoted by R-Sport as saying Monday.

“We want to know who sold meldonium to the clubs, and for what purpose they bought it, when it was already known that it would be banned,” Svishchev was quoted as saying, adding that lawmakers will send official inquiries to the clubs.

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