13:37 GMT24 January 2021
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    Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said Saturday he would meet with the heads of sports federations on April 5 to discuss the issue of meldonium.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The minister's statement comes amid a series of cases of Russian athletes testing positive for meldonium, which has been prohibited since January 1 by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

    "On Tuesday, I will gather once again all federation presidents and we'll discuss all our matters one more time," Mutko told R-Sport.

    Meldonium is a Latvian-made anti-ischemic drug that is used in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union to treat heart conditions. It is also suspected of being used in order to enhance an athlete's performance.

    The Russian Sports Ministry is glad that WADA is not rushing to make decisions regarding athletes who have tested positive for meldonium, Mutko said.

    "WADA has officially said it has not studied how [meldonium] is removed [from organism]. We are glad that they are not making any rushed decisions regarding all these cases," Mutko said.

    In March, Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova admitted to having tested positive for the drug. Her statement was followed by more cases of Russian athletes found taking meldonium.

    Some 30 Russian athletes have tested positive for the drug so far, which, according to Mutko, is on par with athletes in other countries.


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    meldonium, Vitaly Mutko, Russia
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