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Meldonium inventor certain ban will be lifted after Rio Olympics

April 18, 14:11 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to Ivars Kalvin, the World Anti-Doping Agency will have to lift the ban after the Olympics as lawsuits will begin to be filed against it
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MOSCOW, April 18. /TASS/. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will have to exclude mildronate (meldonium) from the list of banned substances after the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, preparation developer, active member of Latvia’s Academy of Sciences Ivars Kalvins told TASS on Monday.

"WADA will have no other choice after the Olympics as lawsuits will begin to be filed against it. Several judicial processes and they will have to back away," Kalvins said.

"WADA has stepped on a minefield of unfounded decisions. And mines will be exploding," he added.

According to the academician, the first mine has already exploded. "WADA specialists have got convinced that Mildronate stays in the blood plasma or urine far longer than this could be found by the method of calculations."

Kalvins said he was ready to participate in the struggle to the very end for restoring the preparation’s reputation. "I’m ready to take part in the struggle to the very end for excluding meldonium from the list of banned preparations."

"I want to look into the eyes of pseudo-scientists and those who have said that this medicine may hurt an athlete. I believe this may hurt WADA’s reputation, which is taking place now, rather than an athlete. Athletes will be only glad with the permission to use the preparation, which saves their lives," he said.

The World Anti-Doping Agency earlier reported that a total of 172 doping samples worldwide had tested positive for meldonium, including at least 31 Russian athletes. Among them are tennis star Maria Sharapova, Olympic medalist in swimming Yulia Efimova and Olympic medalist in speed skating Pavel Kulizhnikov.

The World Anti-Doping Agency announced on Wednesday that the concentration of less than one microgram of meldonium in the body system of an athlete, whose doping tests were conducted before March 1, was acceptable and the athlete at the issue was not a subject to any sanctions whatsoever.

The drug meldonium (mildronate) was included in the list of preparations banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency from January 1, 2016. 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).

Meldronate is a cardiovascular preparation freely available for purchase at pharmacies across Russia without doctor’s prescription.

Russian sport has been in the center of doping-related scandals since the fall of 2014. Since early February, control over doping abuse in Russian sports has been exercised by RUSADA only under the supervision of the British anti-doping agency (UKAD).

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko earlier said that UKAD was taking up to 200 doping samples from Russian athletes each month.

Mildronate producer sends WADA results of preparation study over 30 years

The Latvian pharmaceutical firm Grindex, the producer of mildronate (meldonium) recently banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency has sent WADA an overview of the preparation’s use over 30 years, according to the company’s letter obtained by TASS on Monday.

Grindex said in its letter that it has sent its overview to WADA as the world anti-doping body had not provided the company with sufficient scientific proofs substantiating the inclusion of meldonium into the list of preparations banned from January 1, 2016.

"If follows from the overview that an overwhelming majority of scientific proofs (about 40 publications and the period covering almost 30 years of research) testify to the substantiated therapeutic use of meldonium, including by athletes," the letter says.

"As far as we know, WADA’s public statements about the properties of meldonium that served as the ground for its inclusion into the list of banned substances could be based on no more than three publications. At the same time, the conclusions made in these publications are not substantiated enough," according to the letter sent by Grindex to WADA.

As Grindex says, meldonium does not influence athletes’ achievements.

"We’re convinced that mildronate is not a preparation enhancing an athlete’s sports achievements and does not pose a real or a potential threat to an athlete’s health. The therapeutic use of meldonium does not contradict the spirit of sport and, especially, health. This can be proved by the wide use of the preparation and its significance for supporting health and curing cardio-vascular and neurological illnesses," Grindex’s letter says.

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