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Vorganov free to race despite meldonium positive

Following a mid-April statement by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), recognizing the slippery nature of meldonium testing, Katusha rider Eduard Vorganov’s provisional suspension has been lifted, the UCI announced Monday.

Vorganov was one of 172 athletes that failed anti-doping tests for meldonium since January 1, when the substance became banned under WADA code. However, as The New York Times reported last month, anti-doping tests cannot reliably determine whether athletes actually took the drug after the ban began, or if it was simply clearing from their systems after taking it in 2015.

“There has been a call by stakeholders for further clarification and guidance,” WADA president Craig Reedie said in a statement. “WADA recognizes this need — that meldonium is a particular substance, which has created an unprecedented situation and therefore warranted additional guidance for the anti-doping community.”

To date, Vorganov is the only cyclist to test positive for meldonium. The 33-year-old is the 2012 Russian national road race champion and has raced for Katusha since 2010.

He is not, however, in the clear. “For the sake of clarity, the case is not yet resolved as the results management is ongoing. At this stage and until the adjudication of the case, the UCI will not comment any further,” the UCI concluded in its written statement.

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