Two Russian rugby players handed provisional bans after testing positive for meldonium

Both players failed out of competition drug tests

Two Russian rugby players handed provisional bans after testing positive for meldonium

James Ellingworth / AP/Press Association Images

Two Russian rugby players who are married, have tested positive for meldonium and have been provisionally suspended by World Rugby.

Meldonium became the topic of sports conversations across the world this week, when tennis pro Maria Sharapova admitted to testing positive for the banned substance at the Australian Open. Meldonium was declared a prohibited substance by WADA in January of 2016.

Sharaopova was later discovered as one of 99 athletes to test positive for this drug in 2016.

A statement from World Rugby read: "World Rugby has confirmed that it has provisionally suspended two Russia national sevens players from all competition following notification of potential anti-doping rule violations, both involving the prohibited substance meldonium (mildronate).

"Alexey Mikhaltsov, a member of the national men's sevens squad, returned an adverse analytical finding following an out of competition test conducted by World Rugby and was suspended on February 4, 2016.

"Alena Mikhaltsov (nee Bogacheva), a member of the national women's squad, returned an adverse analytical finding following an out of competition test conducted by World Rugby and was provisionally suspended on February 26, 2016."

The couple, who play sevens for Russia failed out of competition drug tests in Februrary, according to the rugby union's world governing body.