15. March 2023  
Lausanne, SUI  
Artistic Gymnastics

Oleg Verniaiev's suspension reduced by two years

Oleg Verniaiev, a 2016 Olympic gymnastics champion for Ukraine, had a four-year doping ban reduced to two years, making him eligible to compete immediately. The 29 years old Ukrainian athlete was tested positive for meldonium 2020, August 26,  and was provisionally banned November 5 of that year before a four-year ban was handed down on July 12, 2021, backdated to November 5, 2020.
Verniaiev appealed the ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which halved it after a December hearing. Verniaiev said the source of the meldonium was contaminated food products, according to CAS. “It was a long process, during which I proved that I had no intention to doping,” Verniaiev posted on social media. “The court reduced the sanction twice. This suggests that the court agreed with my arguments and confirmed that meldonium got into my body without my fault or negligence.”
Had the ban not been reduced, Verniaiev would have been ineligible for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Verniaiev questioned the ban in July 2021, posting on social media, “Why was only one test positive, and not one of the nearly a dozen subsequent tests that confirmed the presence of a prohibited substance?”
Verniaiev won the 2016 Olympic all-around silver behind Kohei Uchimura from Japan by one tenth of a point medal but won the parallel bars gold medal. At the  2019 Worldchampionchips in Stuttgart he won the all-around bronze medal, but then hemissed the Tokyo Olympics during his ban.