Romania's Elena Mirela Lavric tests positive for meldonium
By AP Sport
Last Updated: 12/04/16 3:19pm
Romanian runner Elena Mirela Lavric tested positive for meldonium at last month's world indoor championships, the Romanian Athletics Federation said on Tuesday
Lavric's result is the first failed drug test from the championships and comes at a time when track and field's governing body is under pressure over its management of doping issues.
Romanian federation chairman Ion Sandu told the online publication ProSport that Lavric had stopped taking meldonium, which boosts stamina, in December, before it was banned, but that the federation only found out on March 7 that it was no longer legal.
That was the same day that Maria Sharapova revealed she had failed a doping test for the drug.
"I don't know how long this medicine stays in the organism. I consider there is a lack of communication between medics and athletes," Sandu told ProSport.
Lavric could be banned for up to four years, while Romania could lose its bronze medal in the 4x400m relay, for which Lavric ran the second leg in the final.
Lavric is a former European and world indoor champion in the 800m and also competed at the 2012 Olympics, reaching the semi-finals.
Nataliya Lupu of Ukraine, withdrew before the championships in Portland after testing positive for meldonium, while former 1,500m world champion Abeba Aregawi of Sweden has also been provisionally suspended after testing positive.