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Russian athletics specialists objected to WADA’s meldonium blacklist decision — official

March 10, 18:58 UTC+3 MONACO
The drug meldonium (mildronate) was included in the list of preparations banned by the WADA from January 1, 2016, after which several Russian athletes tested positive for the banned substance
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© Donat Sorokin/TASS

MONACO, March 10. /TASS/. Specialists of the all-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) objected to the need to include meldonium into WADA’s blacklist but their opinion was ignored, board member of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Mikhail Butov told journalists on Thursday.

The drug meldonium (mildronate) was included in the list of preparations banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency from January 1, 2016, after which several Russian athletes tested positive for the banned substance.

Those who have proved to have used meldonium since are cyclist Eduard Vorganov, figure skater Yekaterina Bobrova, tennis player Maria Sharapova, skater Pavel Kulizhnikov, short-track skaters Semion Elistratov and Ekaterina Konstantinova, volleyball player Aleksandr Markin and biathlete Eduard Latypov.

"Our specialists were saying that there is no sense in including this preparation into the prohibited list but their opinion was ignored. Well, now this is a rule that should be followed," Butov said.

Such cases are likely to be repeated without clear-cut explanations from federations, he said.

"In our federation, we were making explanations for coaches and athletes from October, bearing in mind the situation that had emerged two years ago. We have done a big job and, as you can see, there have been no cases of positive tests for meldonium in our track and field athletics. I don’t know whether the same situation was in other kinds of sport but we’ll be confronted with such scandals again and again without explanatory work," Butov said.

The presence of the meldonium substance in the athlete’s blood during and between competitions is a violation of anti-doping rules. The substance belongs to S4 class on the WADA blacklist (hormones and metabolic modulators).

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