Athletes found to be using meldonium, a medicine recently banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, will be suspended from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.
Athletes found to be using meldonium, a medicine recently banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, will be suspended from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. Valdaiclub.com asked Russian gymnast Alexei Nemov, four-time Olympic champion, if the whole “meldonium scandal” could be a campaign to force Russia out of the sport of records.
“I think that without one of the strongest country in the world of sports, Olympics would turn into exhibition performance. It would not be Olympics anymore. The whole world watches Olympic Games and it would be better if everyone was satisfied. Watching Olympics without Russia’s participation would simply be not as interesting,” the athlete said in a telephone interview.
The Olympic champion believes this situation needs to be changed. “I think, all the parties involved should take some joint decisions so that our athletes keep participating in Olympics and bringing us medals, preferably, the gold ones,” he said.
According to developers of the drug, it only protects the muscles (including heart) during training, not affecting the athlete’s physical abilities. This, however, did not prevent the World Anti-Doping Agency from adding meldonium to the banned list, which came into effect on January 1, 2016.
“I think that transparent, honest and understandable procedures must be put in place. A lot of our athletes were found using this drug, but for some reason we are not discussing other countries, where, for example, people suffering from asthma find ways to bypass the accepted rules,” Nemov said.
“The political situation is rather tense now, something we should avoid in sports. Every case should be examined on an individual basis,” the athlete believes.