WADA president calls meldonium situation ‘unprecedented’
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) says the situation with meldonium cases is "unprecedented", WADA President Craig Reedie said on Wednesday.
On April 13, WADA issued a Notice regarding meldonium, prohibited at all times (in-and out-of-competition) since January 1, 2016.
"The mere presence of meldonium in an athlete's sample collected on or after January 1, 2016 constitutes an anti-doping rule violation under article 2.1 of the WADA Code, which triggers the results management process," the notice said.
The notice said if the concentration is between 1 and 15 mcg and the test was taken before March 1, 2016 or if the concentration is below 1 mcg and the test was taken after March 1, given that the results of ongoing excretion studies are needed to determine the time of the ingestion.
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Cases where the concentration is below 1 mcg and the test was taken before March 1, 2016 are compatible with an intake prior to January 2016. If the anti-doping organization finds that the athlete could not reasonably have known or suspected that the substance would still be present in his or her body on or after January 1, 2016, then a finding of no fault or negligence may be made.
"Since meldonium was prohibited on January 1 of this year, there have been 172 positive samples for the substance, for athletes across numerous countries and sports," Reedie said.
"Concurrently, there has been a call by stakeholders for further clarification and guidance," he said.
"WADA recognizes this need - that meldonium is a particular substance, which has created an unprecedented situation and therefore warranted additional guidance for the anti-doping community."