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Expert: Meldonium’s body systems exit depends on gender, ethnicity

March 22, 21:13 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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
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© Donat Sorokin/TASS

MOSCOW, March 22. /TASS/. Meldonium’s body systems exit depends on the gender and ethnicity, Tatiana Pushkina, a deputy chief of Russia’s Federal Medico-Biological Agency, said on Tuesday citing official studies.

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).

"According to official sources, it takes different time for meldonium to leave a female and male organism. Even nationality matters. Just imagine how many groups are to be studied for the analysis to be complete. If we want to check a six-month period, we must conduct a study for six months plus two weeks to sum up the results. If we take eight months, we will need eight months plus two weeks," she said.

Pushkina said it would be wrong to be guided by data provided by manufacturers of meldonium-containing drugs who say it leaves the body systems within three to six hours. "Such data are not reckoned with in bedside medicine because there are no such tasks. No side effects, hence, no harm to health. Why study what causes no harm to health? But here we have a unique case: testing body fluids for evidence of a substance use in the sport of records. It is an absolutely different check," she said explaining why meldonium has never been thoroughly checked for body systems exit time.

WADA told TASS earlier that 110 athletes have already tested positive for meldonium since January 1, 2016. At least 18 Russian athletes are suspected of using this substance.

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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