Russian Para ice hockey player Konstantin Shikhov, in red, has been banned for 18 months after an IPC appeal to CAS ©Getty Images

Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics ice hockey silver medallist Konstantin Shikhov has been handed an 18-month ban for a doping violation after taking his wife's medication by mistake.

Russian Shikhov had tested positive for chlorthalidone which is listed in class five of prohibited substances, a category for diuretics and masking agents, forbidden without a therapeutic use exemption.

In January 2022, the Russian Anti Doping Agency (RUSADA) found Shikhov had committed an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) but concluded that a reprimand was sufficient.

In March last year, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) filed an appeal against the RUSADA decision with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The IPC claimed that it had been wrong for RUSADA "to only issue a reprimand without imposing a period of ineligibility, and requesting CAS to replace the sanction with one commensurate with the athlete’s degree of fault for the violation."

The IPC accepted Shikhov’s explanation that the chlorthalidone in his sample came as a result of an "inadvertent ingestion of a tablet belonging to his wife."

At the time, Shikhov had removed his prostheses and had asked his wife to bring him his medication, without checking that it came from the correct packet. 

Konstantin Shikhov in red told the investigating panel he had taken his wife's medication by mistake ©Getty Images
Konstantin Shikhov in red told the investigating panel he had taken his wife's medication by mistake ©Getty Images

CAS concluded that Shikhov had "failed to take reasonable steps," to make sure he took the correct medication.

HIs suspension will end on June 2 2024.

"This case could have been avoided if the athlete had kept a proper system for the storage and division of medicines in his home, or checked the blister packet to ensure he was taking the correct medication and that it did not contain any prohibited substances," an IPC spokesperson said.

"The case also confirms that athletes who test positive for a prohibited substance are not entitled to a reduced sanction simply because they have an impairment." 

The IPC warned that it will continue to monitor decisions made by national doping agencies.

It will "if necessary exercise its right to appeal decisions in order to uphold the fundamental principles of the Code" the spokesperson confirmed.