Putin calls for fair treatment to Russian athletes

Moscow, April 14 (IANS) President Vladimir Putin on Thursday vowed to protect Russian athletes against unfair decisions made by international sports organisations.

Russia will fight so all decisions would be fairly made on participation of Russian athletes in Olympics, said Putin during his annual live Q-and-A session with the Russian public, reports Xinhua.

“Russian sports ministry, our sports organisations are working with international lawyers to assess all aspects of this problem,” Putin said.

The president said it is necessary to improve joint work with international sports organisations so as to react to their demands on time and in a better way.

Meanwhile, Putin ruled out politicised factors in doping scandals involving Meldonium, a drug used to treat various heart diseases and banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) from January 1 this year.

According to the president, majority of athletes involved “have no relation to the Meldonium scandals”.

“We know now that WADA is revising some of its approaches to the use of Meldonium, studying not only its clinical features, but also its excretion from the body,” Putin said.

The drug was considered by WADA to be a metabolic modulator that increases athletes’ endurance and shortens post-exercise rehabilitation time, as well as enhances central nervous system activation.

So far, over 30 Russian athletes have tested positive for Meldonium use including tennis star Maria Sharapova. Over 100 Meldonium cases were recorded by WADA worldwide since the ban came into force.

WADA issued a statement on Wednesday saying that it is permissible if a doping test of an athlete carried out before March 1, 2016 showed a Meldonium concentration of below 1 microgram.

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