MOSCOW, March 26. /TASS/. Doping cases in Russian football are given the toughest and most serious control, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich told TASS on Saturday.
A new wave of doping abuse cases in Russian sport has been connected with the use of meldonium banned on 1 January 2016. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said earlier that 123 athletes had tested positive for meldonium. The names of at least 22 Russian athletes suspected for use of the banned substance have been made public, among them speed skater Pavel Kulizhnikov, swimmer Yulia Efimova and tennis player Maria Sharapova.
"Doping abuse can happen in any sport. It is another matter that in football we try to put it under maximum tough control," Dvorkovich said. "All the professional clubs take it seriously. Everybody, both doctors and coaches, know what can be done and what must not."
"I hope we will not face any serious cases like these and we will deal with (the situation) further on," he 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 substance is widely used in the clinical practice as well. Mildronate is widely used in the post-Soviet space for preventing heart disease.
The presence of this substance found in the athlete’s doping probe during or between competitions is a violation of the current anti-doping rules. WADA put meldonium on the list of banned substances on 16 September 2015 effective starting 1 January 2016.