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Kazakhstan Pro Hit With Two-Year Doping Ban

Meldonium has taken down another player.

Arsan Arashov, a 17-year-old player from Kazakhstan, has been suspended for two years after testing positive for meldonium in a 2016 ITF event in Spain, the International Tennis Federation announced today.

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He will be eligible to return to the pro circuit at midnight on September 29, 2018.

Arashov, who played primarily on the Futures circuit, has $612 in career earnings. He reached a career-high rank of No. 521 last year.

Meldonium, which is sold over-the-counter in some Eastern European countries, is the same drug Maria Sharapova had in her system when she tested positive following her 2016 Australian Open quarterfinal loss to Serena Williams.

The former world No. 1 was initially banned for two years. Sharapova appealed that decision and scored a partial victory when the Court of Arbitration for Sport shortened her suspension to 15 months. Sharapova will return to the pro circuit in Stuttgart this month.

Arashov’s positive test for meldonium came after he provided a urine sample on July 9, 2016 following a match at the Tourneo Playa de Gandia in Gandia, Spain, an ITF Pro Circuit event.

On September 20, 2016, Arashov was charged with an anti-doping rule violation. Arashov requested a hearing before an independent tribunal, which was held on February 10th. The Tribunal decision is here.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons