Athletes in Russian football and hockey face tougher doping rules after the country’s anti-doping agency closed a loophole that allowed players to continue playing after failing a drug test.
Depending on the nature of the substance flagged up in a positive test, some players in team sports had been able to continue competing under their cases were heard.
“Now any [positive] finding leads to a suspension from games until a hearing,” Nikita Kamaev, president of Russia’s RUSADA anti-doping agency, told R-Sport.
Former Blackpool striker Sergei Kornilenko failed a drug test last season but went on to score six goals in the remaining nine games of the season as his Krylya Sovetov team went unbeaten and escaped relegation.
Kornilenko was cleared of the doping charges after Russian authorities accepted Krylya’s explanation that a team doctor had mixed up medicines.