Bobrova, Soloviev to miss figure skating worlds after suspect doping violation

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Moscow (AFP)

Olympic gold medallists Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev will miss the world championships later this month following a suspected doping violation, the Russian figure skating federation announced on Monday.

A test given by 25-year-old ice dancer Bobrova at the European championships in Bratislava in January, where the pair won bronze, showed the presence of the banned medicine meldonium.

The ice dancers, bronze medallists at the 2013 world championships, won team gold with Russia at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

"Russian champions Bobrova and Soloviev will miss the world championships," the national federation said in a statement.

"The federation will give no further comment on the case."

Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin will replace Bobrova and Soloviev in the country's squad to compete at the worlds from March 28 to April 3 in Boston.

Meldonium, which is used to treat heart conditions, has been included in the banned medications list since January 1, 2016.

The couple's coach Alexander Zhulin said that Bobrova decided to waive the testing of her B sample.

"It's the worst possible time to test positive for a banned drug," the R-Sport agency quoted Zhulin as saying.

"The doping scandal in the country's athletics is in its full swing. RUSADA is out of business. This is absolutely the wrong time," he said.