The 2016 IIHF World Under 18 Men’s Hockey Championship has been rocked by a major drug scandal, allegedly involving a Russian Team. Reporter Slava Malamud says the majority of the players tested positive for meldonium, the same performance enhancing drug that landed tennis player Maria Sharapova in hot water.
The Tournament is scheduled for April 14-24 in Grand Forks, ND and while there is also a report the Canadian team is going to be tested, the word from Hockey Canada is random tests are done at the discretion of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports. In an email from a Hockey Canada spokesperson, they confirmed all athletes will be part of an anti doping education which includes on line training as well as individual and group meetings with the team’s medical staff prior to the tournament.
Canada's Under 18 team will be tested for meldonium tomorrow in camp in Winnipeg.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) April 6, 2016
Several prospects for the upcoming NHL Draft are among the suspended players, but it should be noted that Meldonium is not a banned substance by the National Hockey League.
According to several reports, Meldonium improves endurance as well as increasing the blood’s ability to carry oxygen.