MOSCOW, March 17 /TASS/. The World Anti-Doping Agency has conducted no research to o study for how long meldonium can stay in a human organism, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS on Wednesday.
"Today, we have received the WADA explanations in which it said they had held no laboratory tests to establish for how long meldonium can be present in a human organism. They, just like we did, used recommendations for the formula’s use which say that it takes from 6 to 8 hours for the drug to leave the human body," Mutko said.
According to the latest reports, meldonium has been found in the blood samples of 100 athletes. For the moment, the names of fourteen athletes who took the prohibited drug are known. They include ten Russians: skater Pavel Kulizhnikov; biathlete Eduard Latypov; cyclist Eduard Vorganov; figure-skater Yekaterina Bobrova; tennis player Maria Sharapova; short-track skaters Semyon Yelistratov and Yekaterina Konstantinova; volleyball player Alexander Markin and rugby players Alexey Mikhaltsov and Alyona Mikhaltsova.
Athletes use meldonium (mildronate) to increase resistance to high strenuous activity during training sessions as well as for easing emotional, nervous and psychological stresses at competitions. The formula is used for preventive treatment of heart problems in the Commonwealth of Independent States. WADA blacklisted meldonium as a prohibited drug as of January 1, 2016. The formula is referred to S4 class in the WADA list (hormones and metabolism modulators).