Meldonium kept on WADA’s prohibited substances list

Moscow: The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has included controversial substance Meldonium, a drug it considers to be a metabolic modulator, on a list of prohibited substances for next year.

In March, a number of prominent Russian athletes, including five-time Grand Slam tennis champion Maria Sharapova, tested positive for Meldonium, reports Sputnik.

The drug, developed in Latvia to treat patients with heart conditions, was added to WADA’s list of banned substances on January 1.

In April, WADA said that less than one microgram of Meldonium per millilitre in a doping test would be permissible in samples submitted before March 1, 2016.

“In reviewing the List, experts examine such sources as: scientific and medical research; trends; and, intelligence gathered from law enforcement and pharmaceutical companies,” WADA Director General Olivier Niggli said in a statement on Thursday.

According to the statement, WADA’s 2017 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods was approved by its executive committee on September 21 and comes into force on January 1, 2017.

“Updated annually, the List is released three months ahead of taking effect so that all stakeholders — in particular athletes and their entourage — have ample time to familiarise themselves with the list and its modifications,” WADA President Craig Reedie said in the statement.