‘Europe’s boxing champ took Meldonium two weeks prior to bout’

Moscow, April 12 (IANS) Russia’s European boxing champion in light heavyweight division Igor Mikhalkin, who has tested positive for Meldonium, consumed the banned performance enhancing drug last time in February, his agent Erol Ceylan has said.

The doping sample of Mikhalkin (18-1, 9 KOs) was taken on March 12 this year following the Russian boxer’s successful title defence against French opponent Patrick Bois on that day in France, reports Tass.

“He stopped to take Meldonium two weeks before the fight on March 12,” Ceylan said on Monday.

“He got the suspensions from the EBU (European Boxing Union) for two years and from the German Boxing Federation for nine months,” Ceylan said.

“But I am sure that the German Boxing Federation will forgive him after three or six months so maybe he can fight in September again.”

Asked whether the boxer intended to go for the Probe B test, Ceylan said: “We do not want to open it because Igor (Mikhalkin) said he took it (Meldonium).”

“It will make no sense to open the Probe B,” Mikhalkin’s promoter added.

The drug Meldonium was included in the list of preparations banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) from January 1, 2016. The presence of the Meldonium substance in the athlete’s blood during and between competitions is a violation of anti-doping rules. The substance belongs to S4 class on the WADA blacklist (hormones and metabolic modulators).

Meldonium is a cardiovascular preparation freely available for purchase at pharmacies across Russia without doctor’s prescription.

Mikhalkin also said he fully admitted the fact of taking the banned substance and was ready for accepting the any sort of the responsibility adding that “Ignorance is no defence.”

“I have made a mistake, and I’m very sorry,” Mikhalkin said on Monday. “I stand for a clean sport and will never again take any medication without checking several times before that everything is in order. I hope that my punishment is not too severe.”

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