Reports: Russia’s U18 hockey team replaced due to doping scandal

Members of Russia's U18 hockey team have reportedly been replaced due to a high number of failed drug tests.

Dennis Pajot/Getty Images

Multiple reports surfaced out of Russia Wednesday claiming that the country’s U18 hockey team has tested positive for a banned substance and will not participate in the upcoming world championships.

The U18 team will be replaced with players from Russia’s U17 squad, coach Igor Znarok confirmed to Russian reporters.

U18 coach Vitaly Prokhorov told R-Sport that he had been fired by the Minister of Sport and that he would not be present at the international competition. He also confirmed to R-Sport that the "team will change."

Members of the team reportedly tested positive for meldonium, which the World Anti-Doping Agency banned on Jan. 1. Numerous Russian athletes have recently tested positive for the drug, including tennis star Maria Sharapova.

The men’s U18 world championships begin April 14 in Grand Forks, North Dakota, with Russia set to face the United States in the opening game.