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MOSCOW, May 13. /TASS/. Russia’s Rostov FC has been the only club in the country selected for an all-embracing examination of players for possible abuse of banned performance enhancing drug meldonium, FIFA’s press service told TASS on Friday.
Following Rostov’s match against Dinamo Moscow FC on Thursday night (3-1), all 11 players from Russia’s southern football club were summoned for doping tests. Head of FIFA Medical Department Jiri Dvorak told TASS that the doping examination followed information that Rostov FC earlier acquired large quantities of mildronate.
"Rostov FC at the moment is the only Russian club subjected to examinations of anti-doping violations," FIFA said in its statement.
The drug meldonium (mildronate) was included in the list of preparations banned by WADA 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.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced on April 13 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.
Yury Solano, the club’s assistant coach on physical training, told TASS earlier in the day that Rostov’s players never consumed meldronate and was confident that collected doping samples would prove to be negative.
Following its 3-1 victory over Dinamo on Thursday, Rostov moved to the second place behind oleader CSKA Moscow of the Russian Football Premier League (RFPL).
FC Rostov General Director Oleg Lopatin announced on Thursday that the club was licensed to take part in 2016/17 European tournaments.
During the 2015/16 season, it was numerously reported about the club’s debts. Media reports said the club was experiencing financial difficulties.
FC Rostov had licensing problems last year and in 2014 it was not admitted to participation in the Europa League. The sanctions on the club were lifted after the club’s appeal was granted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.
Chairman of the FC Rostov Board of Directors Ali Uzdenov earlier told TASS that the club would repay all its debts by the 2016/17 football season.