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FIVB Disciplinary Panel rules on Alexander Markin

Lausanne, Switzerland, April 28, 2016 - The FIVB Disciplinary Panel issued its decision on Thursday in the case involving Mr. Alexander Markin of Russia, who tested positive for meldonium following the semifinal match against Germany at the 2016 European Olympic Qualification tournament on January 9, 2016. 

In its decision, the FIVB Disciplinary Panel followed the guidance of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which issued a Notice on April 13, 2016 regarding how to handle meldonium cases. In its Notice, WADA recommended that an anti-doping rule violation must be found in cases in which meldonium was present in an athlete’s sample after January 1, 2016 but a decision-making body could make a finding that the athlete bore no fault or negligence if the concentration of meldonium found in the athlete’s sample was below 1 microgram per millilitre (μg/mL) and the test was taken before March 1, 2016. According to WADA, if these two criteria were satisfied, the athlete’s intake would be “compatible with an intake prior to January, 2016”, i.e. before meldonium became a prohibited substance. A finding of no fault or negligence allows a decision-making body to eliminate a sanction against the athlete.

In Mr. Markin’s case, the concentration of meldonium in Mr. Markin’s sample was 0.3 micrograms and the test occurred on January 9, 2016. Therefore, the two criteria provided by WADA were satisfied. The FIVB Disciplinary Panel concluded that Mr. Markin committed an anti-doping rule violation but bore no fault or negligence in this case. The FIVB Disciplinary Panel therefore lifted his provisional suspension and decided that he would be subject to no additional sanctions taking the approach recommended by WADA. Additionally, in light of this finding, the FIVB Disciplinary Panel also decided that the Russian national team’s qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games would stand due to the fact that there was no evidence that the presence of meldonium in Mr. Markin’s system could have enhanced his performance, thus, the results of the Russian team because the concentration was too low to have any performance-enhancing effect. The FIVB Disciplinary Panel noted that the disqualification of the results of the team based on the anti-doping rule violation of one athlete is discretionary and is not an automatic consequence under the applicable rules.

The FIVB Disciplinary Panel issuing this decision was composed of the FIVB Disciplinary Panel Vice-Chair Ms Margaret Ann Fleming (Scotland), FIVB Disciplinary Panel member Mr. Mounir Ben Slimane (Tunisia) and FIVB Medical Commission member Prof. Dr. Roald Bahr (Norway).

A copy of the decision can be found on here    


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