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Forced doping: several Russian players accuse their fitness trainer

Doping scandals in Russia aren’t necessarily a new story. Still, we’re talking about a country that was suspended from the Olympics for four years (later reduced to two) by the World Anti-Doping Agency in 2019 due to a system within the country to dope athletes.

A ton of Russian athletes had lost their Olympic medals, too.

But today, a new story linked to illegal products in Russia has surfaced, and we’re still talking about a fairly major case: seven players from Tolpar Ufa, a junior team in Russia, have accused their fitness trainer, Igor Zagretdinov, of forcing them to dop themselves with products they didn’t know about.

The players say they tried to resist, but were threatened by Zagretdinov, who claimed he would ruin their careers if they continued to resist.

Again according to the players, the team’s management knew what was going on, but decided to ignore the problem since they trusted their fitness trainer. The players were therefore injected with products they didn’t know about under threat.


All seven players failed a doping test, as the substance in question, Meldonium, is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

And in fact, this is quite major news, because Tolpar Ufa is an important junior club in Russia. It has produced several players who have gone on to play in the NHL, the best known being Andrei Vasilevskiy. Other players who are products of the club include Daniil Tarasov, Shakir Mukahamadullin and Rodion Amirov.

This is Salafat Yulaev’s club-school, by the way.

It really is a sad story, in the end, and we must hope that the truth will come out one day. Zagretdinov is not currently being prosecuted, but an investigation by the Russian anti-doping agency is underway.

And if the allegations prove to be true, I really hope that Zagretdinov will be severely punished. Because in reality, he may have ruined the careers of these youngsters, and possibly those of many others who didn’t testify.

In bursts

– Auston Matthews hopes William Nylander stays in Toronto as long as possible.

– What do you think?

– Great idea.

– The guys are having fun, and that’s the most important thing.

– Too bad.

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