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Scientific experts obtain proof enabling Russia to appeal WADA’s meldonium penalty

"All athletes’ samples will be studied again, and doping charges will be lifted," a Russian official said

ARKHANGELSK, March 31. /TASS/. Russia’s Federal Medical-Biological Agency (FMBA) has completed research enabling it to contest the suspension of athletes who tested positive for meldonium, the organization’s chief said.
"All athletes’ samples will be studied again, and the doping charges will be lifted. They had taken this medicine when it was not yet banned," FMBA chief Vladimir Uiba stressed.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (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. The move came as an unexpected measure not only to Russian athletes, but also for national sports federations of ex-Soviet states as well.

Uiba explained that the study looks into the period during which meldonium and its metabolites are completely washed out from a human body. Its results will be made public next month.

"The research began in April 2016 and involved 32 volunteers - 16 men and 16 women. The final report, with the results and conclusions of the research is expected no earlier than the first decade of April," he said. "The research has been completed."

"On the 280th day of the research, meldonium was found in significant quantities in urine samples obtained from some of the volunteers. It was barely detectable or could not be detected at all in blood samples. This information has been submitted to WADA and is now being actively discussed," Uiba emphasized.

According to the FMBA chief, "this entire situation teaches us to always rely only on scientific data and scientific evidence."

"It is the area of scientific research where we find common ground international organizations. It is a good basis for cooperation," he noted.