12:50 GMT24 November 2020
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    The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has recorded over 200 positive tests for meldonium, a recently-banned Latvian drug which made world headlines when Russian tennis pro Maria Sharapova tested positive.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Meldonium was developed in Latvia to treat patients with heart conditions. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) added meldonium to its banned substances list on January 1, 2016. The agency considers the drug to be a metabolic modulator that increases athletes' endurance and shortens post-exercise rehabilitation time.

    ​Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that WADA’s decision to prohibit the use of meldonium, popular in Russia and other eastern European countries among athletes, was unlikely politically motivated.

    A number of Russian top athletes, including tennis star Maria Sharapova, swimmer Yulia Efimova, figure skater Ekaterina Bobrova and biathlonist Eduard Latypov, among others, have failed a drug test for meldonium.


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