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WADA will let athletes explain their meldonium use before making decisions

March 14, 16:56 UTC+3 LAUSANNE (Switzerland)
Some 100 athletes have tested positive for meldonium this year
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© EPA/LAURENT GILLIERON

LAUSANNE (Switzerland), March 14. /TASS/. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) refuses to talk about cases of meldonium use by athletes because they should have an opportunity to tell their stories themselves, WADA’s director general David Howman told TASs on Monday.

"We can’t talk anything that is related to the current cases. Because we have to let the athletes have an opportunity to tell their stories to the tribunal," Howman said. "I will be very disappointed if new cases of meldonium use will appear. It indicates that people are not listening," he added.

Some 100 athletes have tested positive for meldonium this year, according to the latest reports. The names of 14 athletes have been revealed. Ten Russians are among them: speed skater Pavel Kulizhnikov, biathlete Eduard Latypov, cyclist Eduard Vorganov, figure skater Yekaterina Bobrova, tennis player Maria Sharapova, short-track skaters Semion Elistratov and Ekaterina Konstantinova, volleyball player Aleksandr Markin and rugby players Alexey and Alena Mikhaltsov.

Meldonium belongs to S4 class on the WADA blacklist (hormones and metabolic modulators). In sports, meldonium (mildronate) is used to enhance the human body’s endurance and ability to resist high physical strain during training and nervous and psychological stress during competitions. Since January 2016, the presence of the meldonium substance in the athlete’s blood during and between competitions is a violation of anti-doping rules.

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