August 31, 2016
USADA announced today that triathlete Ivan Tutukin, of Lubertcy, Russia, has tested positive for a prohibited substance, which was determined to have been ingested by him without fault or negligence pursuant to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) guidance concerning meldonium.
Tutukin, 30, tested positive for meldonium as the result of both an in-competition urine sample he provided on April 24, 2016, at the St. Anthony’s Triathlon in St. Petersburg, Florida, and an out-of-competition urine sample he provided on May 23, 2016. Meldonium is a non-specified substance that was added to the WADA Prohibited List in 2016. It is in the category of Hormone and Metabolic Modulators and is now prohibited at all times under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) National Anti-Doping Policies (USOC NADP), the International Triathlon Union (ITU) Anti-Doping Rules, and the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) lronman® Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the WADA Code (the Code) and the WADA Prohibited List.
Tutukin informed USADA that he first learned about meldonium from a physician more than a decade ago and began taking meldonium at his own discretion during strenuous training. He was able to obtain meldonium without a prescription because it is available over-the-counter in drug stores in Russia. Tutukin reported that his use of meldonium ended in October 2015.
After a thorough review of the case, USADA concluded that the low meldonium concentration in the athlete’s urine samples, combined with the athlete’s explanation of use, was consistent with ingestion prior to the substance being officially prohibited on January 1, 2016. Based on the latest guidance offered by WADA on June 30, 2016, for cases involving meldonium, Tutukin will not face a period of ineligibility. However, Tutukin has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on April 24, 2016, the date his in-competition sample was collected, including forfeiture of any medals, points, and prizes.
In an effort to aid athletes, as well as all support team members such as parents and coaches, in understanding the rules applicable to them, USADA provides comprehensive instruction on its website on the testing process and prohibited substances, how to obtain permission to use a necessary medication, and the risks and dangers of taking supplements as well as performance-enhancing and recreational drugs. In addition, the agency manages a drug reference hotline, Drug Reference Online (www.GlobalDRO.com), conducts educational sessions with National Governing Bodies and their athletes, and proactively distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as the Prohibited List, easy-reference wallet cards, periodic newsletters, and protocol and policy reference documentation.
USADA is responsible for the testing and results management process for athletes in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement, and is equally dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programs.