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Husband and wife rugby players test positive for meldonium

Two rugby players who are husband and wife have been provisionally suspended after testing positive for meldonium.

World Rugby confirmed Alexey Mikhaltsov and Alena Mikhaltsov, who represent Russia's men's and women's sevens teams respectively, failed out of competition tests.

The news comes after five-time grand slam champion Maria Sharapova revealed on Monday that she had tested positive for the drug, which was placed on the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) list of banned substances at the start of the year.

A World Rugby statement read: "World Rugby has confirmed that it has provisionally suspended two Russia national sevens players from all competition following notification of potential anti-doping rule violations, both involving the prohibited substance Meldonium [Mildronate]. 

"These suspensions are imposed in accordance with World Anti-Doping Agency compliant World Rugby Regulation 21.

"Alexey Mikhaltsov, a member of the national men's sevens squad, returned an adverse analytical finding following an out of competition test conducted by World Rugby and was suspended on 4 February, 2016.

"Alena Mikhaltsov [nee Bogacheva], a member of the national women's squad, returned an adverse analytical finding following an out of competition test conducted by World Rugby and was provisionally suspended on 26 February, 2016."

A WADA spokesman confirmed on Friday that there have been 99 positive tests for meldonium since it was placed on their banned substances list.