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Several months might be needed for meldonium to leave body systems — manufacturer

March 21, 21:16 UTC+3
Overall, 102 athletes have already tested positive for the drug banned by World Anti-Doping Agency
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© Donat Sorokin/TASS Archive

MOSCOW, March 21. /TASS/. Latvia’s pharmaceutical company Grindex, the manufacturer of the mildronate drug, containing meldonium, a substance that has made much fuss in sports in the recent time, said on Monday it might take several months for the drug to leave the body systems.

"Although meldonium’s half-life in a human organism is only four to six hours, it may take much longer for the substance to completely leave the body systems," Grindex spokeswoman Laila Klavina told TASS. "So, it might take several months for meldonium to leave the human organism due to its non-linear pharmacokinetics (dose-dependence)."

She said meldonium life in a human body depends on various factors. "It depends on a variety of factors, such as dose, the length of treatment, individual physiological characteristics, test sensitivity and sample types (blood or urine) used in tests," she said.

Athletes use meldonium (mildronate) to increase resistance to high strenuous activity and physical strain during training sessions as well as for easing emotional, nervous and psychological stresses at competitions. The formula is also used for preventive treatment of heart problems predominantly in the Commonwealth of Independent States. WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) blacklisted meldonium as a prohibited drug as of January 1, 2016. The formula refers to S4 class in the WADA list (hormones and metabolism modulators).

The presence of the meldonium substance in the athlete’s blood during and between competitions is a violation of anti-doping rules.

Overall, 102 athletes have already tested positive for meldonium. The names of 15 athletes suspended for the use of the banned preparation are already known. They include ten Russians, namely speed skater Pavel Kulizhnikov, biathlete Eduard Latypov, cyclist Eduard Vorganov, figure skater Ekaterina Bobrova, tennis player Maria Sharapova, short-track skaters Semion Elistratov and Ekaterina Konstantinova, volleyball player Aleksandr Markin and rugby players Alexey and Alena Mikhaltsov.

As TASS has learnt, this substance has been found in the doping samples of Russian bobsledder Nadezhda Sergeeva, Russian athletes Nadezhda Kotlyarova, Olga Vovk, Gulshat Fazletdinova and Andrey Minzhulin and Greco-Roman wrestlers Evgeny Saleev and Sergey Semenov.

On Monday, Russia’s four-time world swimming champion and bronze medalist of the 2012 Olympics Yulia Efimova said her anti-doping samples taken in February tested positive for meldonium.

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