Petrova denies wrongdoing after positive meldonium test

Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:54pm EDT
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By Angel Krasimirov

SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgarian triple jumper Gabriela Petrova, runner-up at the 2015 European indoor championships in Prague, has denied any wrong-doing after testing positive for the banned substance meldonium.

"I have not violated, in any way, the anti-doping rules and I can move on with my head held high," Petrova told a news conference at the Vasil Levski stadium on Monday.

"I stopped taking this medication in September. I haven't touched it in 2016."

Meldonium, which helps boost blood flow and increases the amount of oxygen taken in by the body, allowing athletes to recover faster while training, was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of banned substances on Jan. 1.

Since then, more than 100 athletes have been found to have used it.

Petrova, who also finished fourth at the world outdoor championships in Beijing last year, failed an out-of-competition drug test on Feb. 6.

The 23-year-old has joined a long list of athletes, including former world tennis number one Maria Sharapova of Russia, who have recorded positive tests for meldonium. [L5N16Z0IW]

"It has nothing to do with the Sharapova case," Petrova said. "She said she took the medication in 2016 to treat a health problem."   Continued...

Second placed Gabriela Petrova of Bulgaria celebrates after the women's triple jump final during the European Indoor Championships in Prague March 8, 2015. REUTERS/David W Cerny