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RUSADA decides against disqualification of seven athletes for taking meldonium

April 19, 2016, 18:04 UTC+3 MOSCOW April, 19. /TASS

RUSADA held in absentia hearings on the cases of Sergey Semyonov, Davt Chakvetadze, Anastasiya Chulkova, Nadezhda Kotlyarova, Gulshat Fazletdinova, Andrey Minzhulin and Olga Vovk

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© AP Photo/Lee Jin-man

MOSCOW, April 19. /TASS/. The Russian anti-doping agency (RUSADA) has made a decision not to disqualify seven athletes who took the prohibited substance meldonium for it found no evidence of their guilt or negligence, RUSADA said in a news release.

On Monday, RUSADA held in absentia hearings on the cases of seven athletes - wrestlers Sergey Semyonov and Davt Chakvetadze, cyclist Anastasiya Chulkova, and also track-and-field athletes Nadezhda Kotlyarova, Gulshat Fazletdinova, Andrey Minzhulin and Olga Vovk. All were found responsible for violating Russian anti-doping rules in that the prohibited substance was present in their probe. RUSADA refrained from using disqualification against them as there was no proof of guilt.

WADA on April 13 published the results of intermediate examination of meldonium, outlawed since January 1, 2016. Its presence in an amount of less than one microgram per one milliliter (1 mcg) in the athlete’s sample taken before March 1, 2016, is permissible. All of the mentioned athletes had amounts of meldonium in their blood under the permissible minimum.

Earlier, WADA said that a total of 172 athletes had tested positive for meldonium. According to TASS sources at least 31 Russian athletes, including woman tennis player Maria Sharapova, woman swimmer Yulia Yefimova and speed skater Pavel Kulizhnikov, are suspected of using the prohibited medial formula.

Meldonium (contained in the drug called mildronate) is used in sports for enhancing the human body’s ability to resist physical strain during training sessions and nervous and psychological pressures during competitions. In the CIS countries it is used as a pre-emptive drug against cardiovascular diseases. The presence of this substance in the athlete’s doping sample during and between competitions has been regarded as a violation of doping rules since January 1, 2016.

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