15:05 GMT18 January 2021
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    The controversy surrounding the use of meldonium will be resolved in the near future, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) placed meldonium on its banned substance list on January 1, 2016, saying the drug is used to enhance an athlete's performance. Mutko estimates 40 Russian athletes have been implicated in meldonium use.

    "We will sort out meldonium, everything will be alright. This is a trap drug. I hope there will be good news in the near future," Mutko told reporters.

    He noted that Russian sports continued to grow despite efforts to "work up" the issue.

    "In principle, Russian sports are a leader. Any attempts to somehow tarnish it with doping scandals are not true. I am very pleased with how our athletes prepare and perform," Mutko said.

    Meldonium is a Latvian-made anti-ischemic drug used in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union to treat heart conditions.

    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.


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    doping, meldonium, Vitaly Mutko, Russia
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