Was Meldonium originally promoted as An Animal Growth Promoter

Posted by John Doe 31/07/2017 0 Comment(s)

The events that occurred more than a half a year ago are distant but  nevertheless are important for Tennis world, Announcement of Maria Sharapova, the Russian star who has lived almost all of her life in USA started a big storm in tennis world as well is in all the sports world around the globe.

The day was 7. of October year 2016 when Maria announced that she will held a press conference. Most of her fans were thinking that this could be it, she will announce end of her carrier , she is going to retire.

On 8. of October she shockingly announced that she has been tested positive for substance which recently has been added to prohibited list. How we all know know, this substance was Meldonium which is manufactured by Grindeks ( sometimes called Grindex) in Latvia, which is one of three Baltic States and could be found in Northern Europe, besides Russia. Grindeks is quite a big company and since the announcement of Maria has grown ever more. Company is publicly traded on  NASDAQ stock exchange Riga. The stock price have sored from 4,92 Euros on 8 of March year 2016 to 8.1 Euros correction on  5th of November year 2017.


Tennis star Sharapova was completely straight and clear with the situation she admitted of failing the test and said that she is taking full responsibility. But she had never admitted of taking Meldonium for performance enhancing purposes. Which I not something that one could actually believe since she was taking it for years, normal course of treatment for heart conditions, is 2-3 Months no YERARS.

Anyways, at the time she was facing up to  4 years of suspension, she got 2 years which later was reduced to 15 months. And now she is back and has their first tournament win.




Meldonium is approved medicine in Baltic countries, Russia and couple more post Soviet Countries for cardiovascular conditions in case of oxygen deprivation, especially cases of angina pectoris. Another use of this medicine as can found in instructions is for improving physical     indication on their English website is that Mildronate "improves physical and mental ability also in healthy individuals.  Lawfull it is not approved by FDA since it was even on their radar since Maria’s accident.

Maria official statement and still is that for past 10 years she was given medicine Mildronat ( This is how Russian pronounce it) by hers doctor. Which also is hers family doctor. She claimed that she had no idea that Mildronate is Meldonium. She emphasised that she had been taking it for 10 years and did not know that this drug was banned. On one hand I admire her for her consistency about the reasoning, on other hand in my mind she had to go with another story. Another story being that WADA did not made extensive research about how long the drug stays in blood stream, this tactic has been successful for number of athletes who have received suspensions before.

The evidence supplied by WADA quite frankly is not evidence but “evidence”, “evidence” being reports of athletes using Meldonium with intention of enhancing performance. In year 2017, this evidence still is the only one and WADA have not researched this matter more than almost 2 years ago. The ban will still be active next year, year 2018.

After the news got out about her positive doping tests, her sponsors began suspending their contracts in total amount of 30 million $. But Maria did not “roll to the side and give up” , she was very smart and did use this scandal in the best way possible. She wrote a book, a good book which is called “Unstoppable” . And now when she is back in the big tennis, her publicity is double compared on the level before the scandal thus the sponsors are running towards not from her.

How does meldonium work?

Meldonium is a synthetically made substance compared L-carnitine which is naturally found in humans body. I will mention the chemical name but do not try to remember it, it is 3-(2,2,2-trimethylhydrazinium)propionate. It was originally researched by team of scientists lead by Ivars Kalvins at the Latvian Institute. The official reason for Meldonium research was that it was made as animal growth promoter. They have a US patent regarding this use of Meldonium, patent number 4481218, it was registered in year 1984. But there is another slightly speculative possible research goal. At the time Soviets were fighting war in Afghanistan and they needed something that would help their soldiers to improve their fighting capacity in high altitude oxygen deprived environment as Afghanistan Mountains and thus scientists were tasked to find a medicine fort that. The soviet science industry were working almost exclusively for military,  thus this reasoning is quite realistic. Also Meldonium did exactly that , it improved oxygen metabolism. There are reports that say that Meldonium was shipped to Soviet army in vast volumes, vast volumes being hundreds of tons.


Is meldonium a performance enhancer?

The science still has no solid proof, there are some research papers out there but mostly they refer on wide usage and heavy doses which were found in athletes body as arguments of its misuse but in reality it is no actual proof that it enhances performance. The only semi suitable argument is Meldonium’s Similarities to Trimetazidine which has been banned some years before Meldonium.

But the reports of recreational use and many more reports of its use in amateur level say that it is in fact a performance enhancing drug with no side effects and no rush as other performance enhancing drugs. Which more often are similar substances to amphetamine