Russian powerlifter Sergei Sychev has been suspended for two years for committing his second anti-doping rule violation, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has announced.
Sychev returned an adverse analytical finding for metandienone in a urine sample provided on June 21, 2016 in an out-of-competition test.
This substance is included on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) 2016 Prohibited List under the category S1.1A Exogenous Anabolic Androgenic Steroids and is prohibited at all times, both in and out of competition.
Sychev, a two-time European champion and 2014 world silver medallist in the up to 72 kilograms class, will be ineligible from competition for two years from July 29, 2016, the date of the provisional suspension, until July 28, 2018.
All his results obtained from the date of the test and onwards will be disqualified including forfeiture of any medals, points, records and prizes.
Although this was Sychev’s second anti-doping rule violation, he was able to prove to the IPC Anti-Doping Hearing Body that his supplement was contaminated and therefore received a reduced sanction based on the applicable rules.
"The IPC would like to remind all athletes about the risks associated with using supplements and that the principle of strict liability applies to anti-doping matters," an IPC statement reads.
"Therefore, each athlete is strictly liable for the substances found in his or her sample, and that an anti-doping rule violation occurs whenever a prohibited substance (or its metabolites or markers) is found in his or her bodily specimen, whether or not the athlete intentionally or unintentionally used a prohibited substance or was negligent or otherwise at fault.
"As a signatory of the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC), the IPC remains committed to a doping free sporting environment at all levels.
"The IPC, together with the International Federations and the National Paralympic Committees, established the IPC Anti-Doping Code to prevent doping in sport for Paralympic athletes, in the spirit of fair play.
"The IPC Anti-Doping Code is in conformity with the general principles of the WADC."
Russia was suspended from all IPC-organised events, including the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, after the WADA-commissioned McLaren Report claimed they had manipulated the testing programme to hide doping failures by home athletes at events, including Sochi 2014.
It was confirmed earlier this month that the suspension will remain in place after an IPC Taskforce said key criteria still needs to be resolved before they can be reinstated.
Dramatic change is required for the Russian Paralympic Committee's (RPC) membership to be restored, with the Taskforce next set to update the IPC by September.
Should they not achieve this, Russia's participation at next year's Winter Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang will be under threat.
IPC President Sir Philip Craven warned it would be "very unlikely" for Russia to compete at the Games if the suspension was not lifted in September.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has praised a plan put forward by the country’s Independent Public Anti-Doping Commission (IPADC) to help tackle athletes taking performance-enhancing drugs.
Vitaly Smirnov, an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member who heads the Commission which was set up by Putin last year to look into combating anti-doping issues in Russia, has revealed proposals the IPADC thinks will help transform the reputation of the nation's athletes.
Among the main points of the plan, which the IPADC say should be implemented before the end of the year, is taking back prize money and awards from those who breach anti-doping rules.
They have also suggested allocating more funding to test Paralympic athletes, creating agreements with whistleblowers to give them legal protection in exchange for helping investigations, and preventing those who break anti-doping rules from holding state or non-state posts in physical culture and sports.