MOSCOW, March 22. /TASS/. Wrestlers from a total of seven former Soviet republics tested positive for a banned performance enhancing drug meldonium, Nenad Lalovic, the president of the United World Wrestling (UWW), told TASS on Tuesday.
"Cases of positive doping tests for meldonium have been registered as of today in seven countries in the post-Soviet space," the Serbian president of the international federation of wrestling said in an interview with TASS. "This is the first time we [UWW] come across such enormous amount of positive doping samples."
Sources told TASS earlier in the day that doping samples of Russia’s Greco-Roman wrestlers Evgeny Saleev and Sergey Semenov tested positive for meldonium. Mikhail Mamiashvili, the president of the Russian Wrestling Federation (RWF) later confirmed the news.
Two weeks ago Russian sports was hit by a new case in a chain of doping-related scandals after some of the country’s athletes tested positive for banned substance meldonium.
Athletes use meldonium (mildronate) to increase resistance to high strenuous activity and physical strain during training sessions as well as for easing emotional, nervous and psychological stresses at competitions.
The formula is also used for preventive treatment of heart problems predominantly in the Commonwealth of Independent States. WADA blacklisted meldonium as a prohibited drug as of January 1, 2016. The formula refers to S4 class in the WADA list (hormones and metabolism modulators).
The presence of the meldonium substance in the athlete’s blood during and between competitions is a violation of anti-doping rules.
Over 100 athletes worldwide have already tested positive for meldonium, including Russian athletes. Among them are speed skater Pavel Kulizhnikov, biathlete Eduard Latypov, cyclist Eduard Vorganov, figure skater Ekaterina Bobrova, tennis player Maria Sharapova, short-track skaters Semion Elistratov and Ekaterina Konstantinova, volleyball player Aleksandr Markin and rugby players Alexey and Alena Mikhaltsov.
As TASS has learnt, this substance has been found in the doping samples of Russian bobsledder Nadezhda Sergeeva, Russian athletes Nadezhda Kotlyarova, Olga Vovk, Gulshat Fazletdinova and Andrey Minzhulin and Greco-Roman wrestlers Evgeny Saleev and Sergey Semenov.
Yulia Efimova, who is Russia’s 2012 Olympic bronze medalist in swimming, the four-time world champion and many times winner of European tournaments, said on Monday her doping sample taken in February had showed the presence of meldonium.