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Two Russian Athletes Suspended For Doping

Russian basketball player Roman Balandin and powerlifter Sadyg Sadygov have been hit with four-year suspensions for the alleged use of banned performance-enhancing substances, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) said on its website.

RUSADA on April 2 said in a brief notice that Balandin, who plays for Avtodor Saratov, was disqualified retroactively from May 19, 2017.

It did not list the violation, but state-run TASS news agency quoted a RUSADA spokesman as saying the suspension was for the use of the drug meldonium.

Meldonium, often sold under the brand name Mildronate, was included in the list of substances banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) beginning on January 1, 2016.

Several other world athletes have been suspended after testing positive for meldonium, including Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova in 2016 and many Olympic competitors.

RUSADA also said the Russian Powerlifting Federation had suspended Sadygov for four years as of March 4. It did not specify the alleged violations.

With reporting by TASS