Semion Elistratov is one of several Russians to have allegedly tested positive for meldonium ©Getty Images

Russian Skating Union (RSU) President Alexey Kravtsov has vowed to push for athletes who have tested positive for meldonium to be cleared.

He made his promise after admitting that another short track speed skater, Ekaterina Konstantinova has failed a test for the drug.

The news had first been reported by the Russian news agency R-Sport.

Konstantinova was a gold medallist in the women’s relay at the 2015 European Short Track Speed Skating Championships in  Dordrecht in The Netherlands.

Five-time Grand Slam tennis champion Maria Sharapova, revealed on Monday (March 7) that she had failed a test for meldonium, a heart attack drug only added to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned list on January 1.

Russian cyclist Eduard Vorganov has been confirmed to have failed a test.

Volleyball player Alexander Markin has also reportedly tested positive for the drug. 

Konstantinova’s case brings to four the number of Russian skaters to have failed tests for meldonium.

The International Skating Union (ISU) confirmed yesterday that ice dancer Ekaterina Bobrova had tested positive for the drug at the European Championships in Bratislava in January. 

Speed skaters Semion Elistratov and Pavel Kulizhnikov have reportedly also failed.

Five-time  world champion speed skater Pavel Kulizhnikov has reportedly been implicated
Five-time world champion speed skater Pavel Kulizhnikov has reportedly been implicated ©Getty Images

Kravtsov has insisted that the RSU would seek to have the athletes cleared of being suspected to have taken the substance.

"I would like to say that the Russian Skating Union will be pressing for the full acquittal of athletes suspected of using meldonium, there is a probability of laboratory mistakes,” he told R-Sport.

"I am certain that we will manage to prove the athletes’ complete innocence of deliberate violations of anti-doping rules, we will bring those responsible to justice.

"The RSU has hired a British company to represent its interests at anti-doping hearings the International Skating Union will hold soon.

"All evidence concerned will be handed over to British specialists for examination, the legal company will present them at ISU hearings.”

Meldonium was moved from the monitored to the prohibited list by WADA due to “evidence of its use by athletes with the intention of enhancing performance”.

Following the string of cases involving Russian athletes who are alleged to have used the substance, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko claimed that each case should be investigated individually and denied it was supplied to members of national teams.

Image title
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has denied that the drug was supplied to Russian teams

"Investigation is conducted into each of the cases of meldonium use in our team,” he told the Russian news agency TASS.

“Every situation that occurred is individual and now we have no right to give any comment.

"As for meldonium, this drug has been already included in the list of those banned and this should be perceived as a fact, this drug is not supplied to the Russian team.

"For us the first task is to do so that no one even thinks of taking it, this is very important.”

Several other leading names have tested positive for meldonium in recent weeks.

Ethiopia's Tokyo Marathon winner Endeshaw Negesse and Sweden's Ethiopian-born former world 1500 metres champion Abeba Aregawi have also provided samples containing the substance.

Ukrainian biathletes Artem Tyshchenko and Olga Abramova are among others to have tested positive for the drug.