- Associated Press - Thursday, April 21, 2016

MOSCOW (AP) - The head of Russia’s speed skating federation says three Russians, including an Olympic gold medalist, have had their provisional doping suspensions lifted after a change in guidelines on meldonium cases.

Olympic short-track relay champion Semyon Elistratov, world record-holding sprinter Pavel Kulizhnikov and short-track racer Ekaterina Konstantinova all tested positive earlier this year for meldonium. The drug, typically used for heart conditions, has been banned since Jan. 1.

Amid confusion over how long the drug takes to leave the body, the World Anti-Doping Agency last week relaxed the guidelines to allow athletes to avoid provisional suspensions if the concentration of meldonium found is low enough to indicate they stopped taking it before it was banned.

The International Skating Union did not immediately confirm the statement by Russian federation chief Alexander Kravtsov.


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