Ukrainian biathlete given 1-year doping ban for meldonium

SALZBURG, Austria (AP) A Ukrainian biathlete has been banned for a year after testing positive for the banned substance meldonium.

Olga Abramova tested positive in January, less than two weeks after the Latvian-made heart drug was banned. She didn't qualify for an amnesty extended to dozens of others because the concentration of meldonium in her system was more than seven times the permissible level, the International Biathlon Union says.

The standard doping sanction is a four-year ban, but Abramova received a reduction because she ''used the prohibited substance non-intentionally and that exceptional circumstances in the form of no significant fault or negligence were present,'' the IBU says in a statement.

Abramova will become eligible from Feb. 4, wiping out most of her World Cup season, though not the world championships.

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