01:47 GMT01 March 2021
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    Meldonium was included in the list of prohibited substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) following a comprehensive study of its effects, WADA Director General David Howman said Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) On Saturday, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said the Russian government would officially request the results of WADA's investigation into meldonium use as a premise to ban the substance on January 1, 2016.

    "Meldonium added to Prohibited List after full + robust process. Everyone was told 'here is new list & here are the changes'," Howman was quoted as saying on WADA's official Twitter account.

    Last week, Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova, who is a five-time Grand Slam champion, announced that she had tested positive for meldonium. The substance was also found in a blood test taken from Russian figure skater Ekaterina Bobrova. On Thursday, Russian biathlonist Eduard Latypov failed a drug test for meldonium.

    Meldonium, also known as mildronate, was developed in Latvia in the 1970s as an anti-ischemia medication, as well as to help treat diabetes. A number of athletes have confirmed that they had used the medication for health reasons long before it was banned.

    According to Ivars Calvins, the inventor of meldonium, banning the drug would likely cause deaths among athletes, as they may suddenly die in action if denied the drug, which provides support in instances of excessive strain on the heart.

    Related:

    Over 60 Athletes Fail Meldonium Drug Tests in 2016 Worldwide - WADA
    Accusations Against Russian Athletes Using Meldonium Raise Questions
    Many Recent Athlete Doping Cases Involve Meldonium Use - WADA Spokesman
    Tags:
    meldonium, WADA, Arkady Dvorkovich, Russia
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