How Many Athletes Take The Illegal Substance?

The Meldonium scandal does not affect just the five-time champion Maria Sharapova, but also other athletes from her home country Russia. It seems to appear that meldonium is a basic substance used by Russian athletes.
The Meldonium scandal does not affect just the five-time champion Maria Sharapova, but also other athletes from her home country Russia. It seems to appear that meldonium is a basic substance used by Russian athletes.

After she tested positive, lots of other athletes surfaced to have been tested positive with the drug. Though in all fairness, the drug was just declared to be “illegal” starting January of this year. Therefore, lots of athletes – just like Sharapova – openly used meldonium for the past years.
But what is the effect of meldonium? Also known as mildronate, it is a drug used to aid heart problems and to fend off exhaustion. Though many physicians claim that meldonium is not a performance-enhancing drug (PED), it is under ban because many claims that athletes abuse it.
But the ban’s effect is so widespread, that many are affected with this sudden change. Aside from Sharapova, two big Russian names in sports was declared to test positive of meldonium – Olympic gold medallist Semion Elistratov and world champion Pavel Kulizhnikov – both in field of ice-skating.
Russia’s sports minister, Vitaly Mutko, foresees that there will be more athletes who will be tested positive of meldonium for the days to come. Russia is significantly affected, because it has been practice for years to give meldonium to athletes for medication and other health reasons.

In Russian pharmacies, meldonium can be bought over the counter without prescription from $3 to $10 per 40 capsules. It was used to treat heart conditions since 1975.
According to the drug inventor, Ivars Kalvins, meldonium is used by Soviet soldiers lugging equipment at high altitudes in Afghanistan invasion as he said on a newspaper interview way back 2009.
The medication can be used to improve work capacity of healthy people during physical and mental overloads.
WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) has sent notice way back September 2015 to Russian physicians to stop meldonium use since it will be banned by this year – but it seems the time is not enough to make certain adjustments.
All we can expect for now is that those who was identified positive of the drug could be suspended for a time. But since those big names were able to win their titles back when meldonium is still legal – we could confidently say that no title strip-off will happen for them.