Accessibility links

Some Georgian, Russian Athletes See Meldonium Bans Lifted

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has lifted the doping suspensions of 14 Russian and Georgian athletes who previously tested positive for the banned substance meldonium.

The April 15 decision came two days after WADA officials eased the rules concerning the drug, saying athletes would not be banned if only minute traces of the substance were found.

Around 170 athletes failed meldonium tests, but many claimed they had stopped taken the substance before it was banned as of January.

"If in their blood less than one microgram of meldonium was found, they took it before the ban," Temuri Ukleba, deputy head of Georgia's anti-doping agency, told AP.

Six Georgian wrestlers, including Olympic silver medalist Davit Modzmanishvili, had their suspensions lifted. Eight Russian athletes, notably runner Nadezhda Kotlyarova, were also cleared.

On April 14, the International Weightlifting Federation said the suspension of two-time Olympic medalist Andrey Rybakov of Belarus had been lifted.

With reporting by AP and Interfax