— Published 9 November 2023

Meldonium remains on trend

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) posts its figures. They confirm the trend. According to a press release published this week, no fewer than 23 cases of meldonium doping have been recorded since the start of the year following tests carried out on Russian athletes. Eight of them have been sanctioned. The other 15 have been put on hold until the full results of the analysis are available. According to RUSADA, 19 cases of meldonium doping were detected in 2022, and 18 in the previous year. According to the agency’s Director General, Veronika Loginova, a quarter of the anti-doping violations reported last year concerned positive tests for meldonium. Placed on WADA’s banned list in January 2016, in category S4 (hormones and metabolic modulators), this over-the-counter heart medication in Russia has proved very popular among Russian athletes for several years. It first made the news in 2016, when former world tennis number 1 Maria Sharapova tested positive and was suspended for 15 months. Two years later, Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky, bronze medallist in the mixed event at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games, tested positive for the same product.