Tennis star Maria Sharapova fails a drug test and meldonium is cited as the cause.
Meldonium, the drug that cause Maria Sharapova to fail a drig test, is manufactured in Latvia, is recommended by doctors in Russia and Eastern Europe to treat heart disease and improve blood flow to the heart. It has not been approved for use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration. Anti-doping experts say it helps increase stamina and endurance by increasing oxygen intake.
Meldonium was added to WADA’s prohibited drug list in September after a study conducted by the Partnership for Clean Competition found traces of the drug in 2.2% − 182 − of 8,300 urine samples it screened.
“From an anti-doping perspective, the 2.2% rate in this study was concerning,” said Dr. Larry Bowers, the chairman of the Partnership for Clean Competition’s scientific board. “This figure represents more than twice the overall rate of laboratory findings for a single drug than any of the substances on the prohibited list.”
Dr. Lewis Maharam, past president of the New York chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine, said meldonium’s performance-enhancing qualities are limited, citing a 2013 study published in Animal Reproductive Science that examined the drug’s impact on sexual performance of boars.
“This is not a cheating drug that people do on a regular basis,” Maharam said.
Other anti-doping officials, however, say meldonium belongs on the banned list because any drug-induced edge could be the difference in elite competitions.
This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.