Russian Hockey U18 Scandal

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The entire Russian hockey U18 team for the world U18 tournament has been replaced.  According to reports, the entire team has been removed because too many players having allegedly tested positive for PEDs.  The U18 team will be replaced by top players from the U17 team at next week’s U18 world championships in  Grand Forks, N.D.. In the process, head coach Vitali Prokhorov has been fired in what is the biggest doping scandal in hockey history.

The original reports don’t mention  what PEDs the players on the team were using, however some reports speculate that the players were using Meldonium, a substance which was banned on January 1st this year by the WATA. Meldonium is the same drug for which international tennis star Maria Sherapova tested positive for earlier this year and multiple other Russian athletes have used.

The original reports came from Slava Malamud:

The U18 team’s official spokesman, Maxim Biryukov, denied the claims: There is no any decision at the moment. If there will be any changes, the information will be published on our official website.”

It is also hard to understand whether or not the two players who were supposed to join the U18 team, Mikhail Sergachev and Artyom Minulin, who are currently playing in North America, will join the U18 Russian team. With a coaching change, the two Russians who decided to play hockey overseas rather than play in the KHL  could be left off the Russian team’s roster next week in North Dakota. 

Not only is this scandal bad for Russian hockey, but also for the few players on the roster destined to be high draft picks at this year’s draft.  Some of the players, such as German Rubstov, could seriously take a dip in their draft stocks following this scandal. However, it is still unclear whether or not Rubstov tested positive until the final results of the scandal are released on the Russian Federation website.

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