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NHL to list meldonium as banned substance starting with upcoming season

August 30, 19:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The drug meldonium was included in the list of preparations banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency from January 1, 2016
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© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

MOSCOW, August 30. /TASS/. The US-based National Hockey League (NHL) will introduce performance enhancing drug meldonium in the list of substances banned for the use of the league’s players starting with the 2016/2017 season, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told TASS on Tuesday.

"Meldonium will be a Prohibited Substance in the NHL beginning with the start of the 2016/17 season," Daly stated in a statement for TASS.

The drug meldonium (mildronate) was included in the list of preparations banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (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 the S4 class on the WADA blacklist (hormones and metabolic modulators).

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

WADA announced in mid-April that a concentration of less than one microgram of meldonium in an athlete’s body whose doping tests were conducted before March 1 was acceptable.

The 2016/2017 NHL season, which will be celebrating its 100th anniversary, kicks off on October 12, but prior to the opening the world’s top eight teams will clash next month in Canada’s Toronto.

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