Inventor says ban on Meldonium lobbyism by vested interests

Moscow, March 12 (IANS) Drug Meldonium, also known as Mildronate, has been enlisted as a banned substance due to lobbyism by vested interests, the medical formula’s inventor Ivars Kalvins said.

“We can accept only one thing that the underlining here is lobbyism of something – either purely political or sportive political, or pharmaceutical business,” Kalvins said on Friday, reports Tass.

He also noted that a formula “which could have the same mechanism of action as Mildronate” had not been invented yet.

Kalvins underscored that putting Meldonium on a black list had not had any grounds and had not been justified with any research or documents provided by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

“If WADA claims that Mildronate is a doping substance, the agency should provide just one article or carry out just one research,” he said adding: “I have not seen a single article on the topic.”

The drug was included in the list of preparations banned by the WADA from January 1, 2016, after which eight Russian athletes tested positive for the banned substance.

Among them are biathlete Eduard Latypov, cyclist Eduard Vorganov, ice dancer Yekaterina Bobrova, tennis player Maria Sharapova, speed skater Pavel Kulizhnikov, short-track speed skaters Semion Elistratov and Yekaterina Konstantinova and volleyball player Alexander Markin.

Mildronate is widely used in clinical practice. During increased physical activity, it restores the oxygen balance of tissue cells as well as activates the metabolic processes that results in lower requirements of oxygen consumption for energy production. Mildronate is widely used in the post-Soviet space for preventing heart disease.

The presence of this substance identified in the athlete’s blood during or between competitions is a violation of the current anti-doping rules. It belongs with the S4 class on WADA’s blacklist (hormones and metabolic modulators).

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