Russia’s Swimming Federation has posted a list of products containing the now-banned bloodflow drug meldonium on its official website.
Meldonium just became illegal under World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules beginning on January 1 of this year, but has already had major repercussions for Russia in a number of sports.
Most swimming fans are familiar with the case of world champion breaststroker Yulia Efimova, who tested positive for meldonium earlier this year and could face up to a lifetime ban, as this is her second doping offense.
The highest profile case has been that of tennis superstar Maria Sharapova, who tested positive during the Australian Open in January. The New York Times reports that “meldonium, also known as mildronate, was a common treatment for athletes before it was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s prohibited list in January.”
Indeed, multiple Russian athletes across sports have tested positive over the past three months. In addition to Sharapova and Efimova, at least four track and field athletes have tested positive (according to Fortune.com), a speed skater (again, per Fortune) and a bobsledder (according to ESPN).
Part of the problem has been that meldonium, typically used to increase bloodflow in patients with ischemia or chronic heart failure, can linger in the body much longer than expected. Reuters reports that meldonium could remain in the body for several months after is was last taken.
The Russian federation’s list includes 20 different products that contain meldonium, warning athletes that the substance is now banned under WADA rules.