Meldonium - what is it? Doping scandal in Russia and the world

Doping meldonium for athletes

The question of what Meldonius is of interest to many, after another scandal with doping tests. I will introduce you to the drug and consider the intricacies of its use - indications, contraindications and dosage.

Meldonium is a metabolic agent developed in Latvia in the 80s that normalizes the energy metabolism of cells subjected to ischemia or hypoxia. Used to combat cardiovascular disease, prevention of heart attack and angina pectoris. In 2012, the drug was included in the list of essential drugs. In January 2016, the World Anti-Doping Agency included the drug on the banned list.

Ivar Kalvins, the creator of meldonium, claims that his brainchild optimizes oxygen consumption, as a result of which cells in the body produce energy in conditions of less oxygen.

In the post-Soviet space, meldonium is in enviable demand. It is especially popular among professional athletes, as it allows the body to adapt to huge loads and accelerates recovery of forces without a significant increase in physical capabilities.

At the beginning of 2015, meldonium appeared in the list of drugs that are not considered doping, but in the sports field they are checked for presence in the blood. In the autumn of the same year (the ban entered into force on January 1, 2016), he was on the list of substances prohibited for use by athletes, compiled by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

According to the current classification, meldonium is a hormone and modulator of metabolism. There was information that the experts found evidence of the use of the drug by athletes in order to improve results. The creator of the drug claims that the agency’s assessment is scientifically unfounded, and the ban is the initiative of competitors producing carnitine.

How does meldonium dope work for athletes

Meldonium is a structural analogue of β-butyrobetaine, a substance present in the body that positively affects energy metabolism and stimulates the nervous system. He found a use in sports, because it increases the stamina of the body during training and helps to cope with mental stress during the competition. Let's take a closer look at the principle of doping of meldonium.

  • When the body is regularly and continuously subjected to physical and mental stress, meldonium controls the balance of oxygen delivery and consumption. This is due to the stimulation of metabolic processes, which provides energy at a lower oxygen cost.
  • Due to the heavy load, the body is rapidly losing energy and strength. Thanks to meldonium, an athlete copes with titanic training, sparingly consumes oxygen and restores a supply of energy resources much faster.
  • Meldonium accelerates the transmission of nerve excitation, resulting in accelerated muscle mass. The substance allows you to maximize the use of the body and easier to tolerate physical and neuropsychic stress. Especially manifested when a person shakes muscles.
  • During training, a lot of energy is consumed, the amount of fatty acids in the cells is reduced. Thanks to mildronate, cells adapt to a deficiency of fatty acids and survive under conditions in which unprepared brethren die.
  • During the competition, the athlete’s body is also subjected to neuropsychic stress. Mildronate prepares nerve cells for stress. At the same time, the athlete maintains a clear mind and optimal physical fitness.
  • A unique mechanism of action on the body allowed meldonium to be used in the fight against various diseases. It is used by healthy people to improve performance.
  • The metabolic substance in question improves the transport of glucose to cells. Normal supply of energy to the heart muscle and brain is carried out even in conditions of low blood sugar.

Meldonium produces a stimulating effect on the body - it accelerates thinking, improves memory, increases dexterity of movements, increases resistance to adverse factors.

Doping or support? Scientists do not understand the ban on meldonium

If during training or competition it is not possible to saturate the blood with oxygen and provide the body with energy, the cells survive only through the correct use of available resources.

Instructions for use meldonium

Any drug has side effects and contraindications. The action of drugs is significantly affected by the diet, because products can enhance or minimize the therapeutic effect. Most often, problems arise due to improper dosage.

I will review the instructions for the use of meldonium in various diseases. Before taking the drug, be sure to consult your doctor.

  1. Cerebrovascular accident. During the acute phase, take 0.5 g daily. The course of treatment is one month.
  2. Cardiovascular diseases. In this case, meldonium is an element of complex therapy. Take 500 mg every day. The daily dose is often divided into two doses. Six weeks is the optimal treatment period.
  3. Cardialgia. Take 500 mg daily. Cardialgia is not an independent disease, but a consequence of a pathological process. It takes a month and a half to fix the problem.
  4. Chronic disorders. A daily dose of 500 mg, the duration of treatment is one month. The second course is allowed only after consultation with the doctor.
  5. Mental and physical overload. Athletes take the drug at 0.5 grams per day for two weeks. Sometimes treatment is repeated after two decades.
  6. Chronic alcoholism. When a person seeks stop drinking, he is recommended to take meldonium four times a day, 500 mg each week, under the supervision of a doctor.
  7. Vascular pathology. The medicine is injected. The dosage is calculated by the doctor taking into account the patient's condition and phase of the disease.
  8. Training and competition. Professional athletes apply twice a day 0.5 grams before training. The course of treatment in the preparatory period is 2 decades, during the competition - one decade.

Mildronate is forbidden to take with increased intracranial pressure, during pregnancy and during lactation. The list of contraindications includes high sensitivity.

Is Meldonium and Mildronate the same?

Meldonium is a drug that improves metabolism and provides the body with energy at the cellular and tissue level. Currently, three dosage forms are available for sale:

  • Capsules
  • Syrup;
  • Injection solution.

The listed dosage forms are based on the active substance meldonium, whose trade names are Mildronate, Mildrocard, Cardionate, Midolate, and THR.

Athletes disqualified for meldonium in Russia and the world

Meldonium was not considered doping for almost 50 years, until 2016.On March 11, 2016 a positive result was given by doping tests of 60 athletes.

The drug was taken by Maria Sharapova, a Russian tennis player and multiple world champion. In the list of Russian athletes convicted of using meldonium, there is a cyclist Vorganov, volleyball player Markin, skater Kulizhnikov, figure skater Bobrova.

In March 2016, athletes from other countries recognized the use of Mildronate: Ukrainian biathlete Abramova and biathlete Tishchenko, Ethiopian marathon runner Negesse, Swedish and Turkish middle distance runners Aregavi and Bulut, the Georgian national wrestling team in full force.

According to the current WADA rules, the use of doping is punishable by disqualification for a period of up to 48 months. For the duration of the investigation, athletes with positive doping tests are suspended from the competition. If the expert commission decides to disqualify the athlete, he may lose the titles obtained in the championship, in the framework of which a violation was discovered.

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The financial side of the issue deserves special attention. For example, advertising contracts of the Nike and Porsche brands were suspended with the Sharapova involved in the scandal with meldonium. If company leaders break their contracts, the tennis player will lose hundreds of millions of dollars.

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Lyubov Ivanova
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