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Russia to Probe Possible Meldonium "Provocations" against Its Athletes - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich speaks during an interview at the Reuters Russia Investment summit in Moscow, Russia, September 29, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich speaks during an interview at the Reuters Russia Investment summit in Moscow, Russia, September 29, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Russia said the decision by the international anti-doping agency WADA to ban the drug meldonium use holds “political overtones”, and that it will investigate whether positive tests among its sports stars could have been “provocations”.

Russia’s R-Sport agency cited Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich saying that law enforcers were already inspecting how meldonium had got into the bodies of Russian skaters. He said each case would be examined to establish whether competitors were to blame or “provocation by unknown persons”, according to R-Sport.

Meldonium was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances on January 1. The substance belongs to S4 class on the WADA blacklist (hormones and metabolic modulators).

Russian sporting figures found to have taken meldonium since the ban came into force include figure skater Ekaterina Bobrova, speed skater Pavel Kulizhnikov and short-track speed skaters Semion Elistratov and Ekaterina Konstantinova.

Several other Russian sportsmen and women have been found to have taken meldonium including former world No.1 tennis player Maria Sharapova, biathlete Eduard Latypov, cyclist Eduard Vorganov, figure skater Ekaterina Bobrova and the volleyball player Alexander Markin.

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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