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All Russian weightlifters clean of banned drug meldonium — executive

March 18, 21:02 UTC+3
There were no registered cases of positive doping tests for meldonium among Russian weightlifting athletes as they were all already warned last year about the ban of meldonium
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© Donat Sorokin/TASS

KAZAN, March 18. /TASS/. None of the Russian national weightlifters tested positive for meldonium, included in the international list of banned performance enhancing drugs, Sergey Syrtsov, the president of the Russian Weightlifting Federation (RWF), told TASS on Friday.

"There were no registered cases of positive doping tests for meldonium among Russian weightlifting athletes as they were all already warned last year about the ban of meldonium," Syrtsov said in an interview with TASS.

The president of the RWF also said he saw no reasons why the national weightlifting team would be banned from travelling to 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.

"I see no obstacles at the moment and the ban is not a threat," he said. "The Russian national team qualified for the maximum number of spots [at the Games] and is one of six countries having most of the licenses."

Russian sports was hit last week by a new case in a chain of doping-related scandals after some of the country’s athletes tested positive for banned substance meldonium.

After the drug meldonium (mildronate) was included in WADA’s list of banned substances a number of 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.

The number of athletes from Russia as well as worldwide testing positive for banned meldonium keeps growing.

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).

Following a series of high-profile doping scandals involving the ARAF (All-Russia Athletics Federation) last year, the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) suspended the Russian federation’s membership in the global governing body of athletics and put forward six criteria, which ARAF must implement to restore its membership.

Experts say it is highly possible that Russian national athletics teams will be suspended from the Summer Olympic Games in Brazil this year following the findings from the Independent Commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The Independent Commission of WADA published on November 9 the results of its probe into the activities of the ARAF, the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, the RUSADA and the Russian Sports Ministry.

The commission accused certain athletes and sports officials of doping abuse and involvement in other activities related to violations of international regulations on performance enhancing substances.

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