MOSCOW, May 13 /TASS/. Low concentrations of meldonium have been found in a blood sample of Russian heavyweight boxer Alexander Povetkin who last used the formula in September 2015, Andrei Ryabinsky, the head of the Mir Boksa (Boxing World) promotion company, which represents Povetkin’s interests, told TASS.
"Traces of extremely low concentration of meldonium have been found in his [Povetkin’s] blood. He consumed it in September last year. He has not taken it since January 1. The situation is ambiguous. The blood sample was taken in April this year. We have been in contact with the World Boxing Council (WBC), which is to decide if Povetkin’s boxing bout against Deontay Wilder will take place or not," Ryabinsky said.
Povetkin’s bout vs. Wilder, the world heavyweight boxing champion according to the WBC, is to take place at Moscow’s Megasport complex on May 21.
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).
On April 13, WADA announced 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.
Meldronate is a cardiovascular preparation freely available for purchase at pharmacies across Russia without doctor’s prescription.
Almost 300 athletes have tested positive for meldonium, according to WADA. According to TASS sources, at least 31 Russian athletes are suspected of using the prohibited medical formula.
Athletes use meldonium (mildronat) for enhancing endurance to high physical exertion during training sessions and emotional stresses during competitions. In some CIS countries, meldonium is used a medicine against heart diseases.