Reports: Russian U18 hockey team replaced after failed drug tests

Wednesday April 6th, 2016

The entire Russian under-18 hockey team has been replaced and its head coach has been fired after players tested positive for the banned substance meldonium, according to Russian media reports.

The best players from the under-17 team will compete in their place at next week's IIHF World U18 Championships in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

The team's official website still lists the roster of former players, but Russian hockey reporter Slava Malamud tweeted the U17 team coach has already confirmed his team will play at the U18 world championship.

• What is Meldonium? The drug behind Maria Sharapova’s positive test

Meldonium, which the World Anti-Doping Agency banned on Jan. 1, is the same substance for which Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova also tested positive in March.

Russia is scheduled to open the world championships April 14 against the United States.

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