Ukrainian gymnast and former Olympic champion Oleg Verniaiev has had his four-year ban for doping reduced to two years after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said on Tuesday it had partially upheld his appeal.
Verniaiev, who won the parallel bars gold in the 2016 Olympics in Rio as well as the silver in the all-around, was prevented from defending his title in Tokyo after testing positive for the banned substance meldonium in August 2020.
The initial four-year ban would have also prevented him from competing at the Paris Olympics next year but the 29-year-old said that the source of meldonium was contaminated food products.
At a hearing in December, the panel upheld the anti-doping rule violation but concluded that there were grounds for a reduction in the period of ineligibility. As the ban began on Nov. 5, 2020, Verniaiev is now cleared to compete.
Meldonium, which is used to treat diabetes and low magnesium, has been detected in several athletes over the years. The most high-profile case had tennis star Maria Sharapova serve a ban after testing positive for the substance.
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