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Lavrov: Meldonium affair arouses questions, Moscow expects WADA explanations

March 10, 2016, 17:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW March, 10. /TASS

According to Russia's top diplomat, many specialists "have explained openly and professionally that it is not a doping agent but an ordinary means of supporting the basic functions of the human body"

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© Donat Sorokin/TASS

MOSCOW, March 10. /TASS/. Russia is waiting for a reply from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) regarding the affair involving the newly-prohibited medical formula meldonium, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the REN TV television channel in an interview.

"Seriously speaking, yes. The latest situation invites many questions. There has been a downpour of bans and accusations against our leading, great athletes," Lavrov said. "It happened despite the fact that meldonium — after being an ordinary medication for decades all athletes and people with cardio-vascular problems were free to use — all of a sudden has been declared a doping formula."

He recalled that many specialists, including the formula’s author, "have explained openly and professionally that it is not a doping agent but an ordinary means of supporting the basic functions of the human body."

"Possibly, meldonium was ill-fortunate to have been synthesized in Latvia back in the Soviet era?" Lavrov asked. "Should that have happened after Latvia became part of the ‘so-called’ civilized world, meldonium would have been destined to have different future? I don’t know."

He pointed to the fact that none of the professional judgements regarding WADA’s decision being voiced these days was getting a reply from the organization’s top officials.

"I believe that professional explanations should follow in reply to professional questions. Possibly, the WADA leadership has some major reasons that remain unknown to us or the scientific and expert community. If this is really so, the reasons are to be explained," Lavrov said.

For the time being, he went on to say, only the head of WADA’s independent commission, Richard Pound, made a statement on that score. "Moreover, he said nothing to explain this decision, looking very strange to many experts. He just stated that now the road to the 2016 Olympic Games would possibly be closed to Russia, because it has proven corrupt all through, sports included."

"That’s street-corner gossip, and not professional discussion," Lavrov said. "We respect WADA. We wish to cooperate with it. But we would like to have professional and honest cooperation. Without any slogans or attempts to usurp scientific truth and medical knowledge. We have our own experts and other countries have theirs."

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