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Italian runner Ahmed Abdelwahed tested positive for the banned substance Meldonium also known as: Mildronate, THP, MET-88, Mildronāts, or Quaterine.

The 26-year-old owns a best in the 3000m steeplechase of 8:10.26, which was run in June this year. He seemed to be a perpetual 8:30-8:50 runner until he produced a noticeable jump in performance in 2021 to 8:12.04. In August this year, he picked up a silver medal during the Munich European Athletics Championships with an 8:22.35 performance. The race was won by Topi Raitanen of Finland in the time of 8:21.80. Taking bronze was fellow Italian Osama Zoghlami.

Zoghlami is Tunisian-Italian. Like Abdelwahed, he too had a noticeable jump in performance in 2021 with an 8:14.29 running. The 28-year-old’s best is from June 2022 at 8:11.00. Both athletes performed at this new level in Italy at the Rome Olympic Stadium on June 9, 2022.

Both Italian athletes are coached by Gaspare Polizzi.

A large number of athletes have tested positive for Meldonium over the years. The performance-enhancing drug (PED) allows athletes to recover quickly after workouts and races. Allegedly 2.2 per cent of athletes tested in Europe return positive results for Meldonium.

In 2016 the New York Times wrote about tennis star Maria Sharapova testing positive for Meldonium. The article read, “other athletes to test positive include: Semion Elistratov of Russia, an Olympic gold medalist in short-track speedskating; Pavel Kulizhnikov of Russia, a world champion speedskater; Davit Modzmanashvili of Georgia, an Olympic silver medalist in wrestling; and Abeba Aregawi of Sweden, a world champion runner.”

In that 2016 article, the NYT author Christopher Clarey wrote that at least 60 athletes had tested positive for the PED.

The Athletics Integrity Unit published a Notice of Allegation Issued on the website: www.athleticsintegrity.org on Sept. 8, 2022.

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