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Russian microbiologist hints at WADA’s potential ban on caffeine as doping in sports

WADA updates its list of banned substances annually

MOSCOW, March 3. /TASS/. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) may possibly include caffeine on the list of its banned performance enhancing drugs for athletes, the Russian Federal Micro-Biological Agency (FMBA) Head Vladimir Uiba said on Friday.

"Caffeine, for instance, is currently on WADA’s waiting list of prohibited substances," Uiba told journalists. "If it (caffeine) eventually makes its way into the list of the prohibited substances, we will be forced to recommend everyone against drinking coffee as well as soft drinks containing caffeine."

"This substance has not yet been approved for the list of banned substances, but theoretically it can happen this year," Uiba suggested.

WADA updates its list of banned substances annually and last year numerous Russian athletes were subjected to suspensions after the world’s governing anti-doping organization banned the widely used pharmaceutical, meldonium. It was a move, which came as an unexpected measure not only to Russian athletes, but also for national sports federations of ex-Soviet states as well.

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 medication freely available for purchase at pharmacies across Russia without a doctor’s prescription.

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