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In what way super athlete Maria Sharapova could be compared to Cold War Soviet super-soldier? The answer is that they both took the unfortunately medicine Meldonium which now is banned by WADA.
The inventor of Meldonium named Ivars Kalvins which now is chair of the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis, commented on this matter and stated that the purpose of developing such drug was for military use. Afghanistan Mountains were lack of oxygen not only reduces the physical capabilities but also could lead to serious health problems.
His scientific project ended with excellent results, he discovered Meldonium, which did give Soviet soldiers super powers in respect to other soldiers because Meldonium enhances oxygen metabolism thus allowing them carry heavy backpacks in areas of high altitude during Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan from year 1979 to year 1989 . The scientific and military industries were very close in Soviet Union Latvia ( Latvia now is sovereign country in Northern Europe and is part of European Union) and therefore it is no surprise that the “ Miracle” drug was developed for military use first.
According to professor Kalvins the Latvian company Grindeks which is the largest manufacturer of Meldonium with brand name Mildronate shipped huge volume measure din tons of Mildronate to Soviet army.
Kalvins also has commented on Meldonium ban, he considers this ban a crime and said that is tis a violation of human rights because the athletes should be able to protect their health. He also thinks that prohibition was sudden and a big surprise. On other hand after the ban Grindeks reported a considerable increase in Mildronate sales.
So one could speculate was Maria Sharapova was going for superpowers are just treating her conditions? it is know that athletes from Russia have a habit of using substances from WADA prohibition list but that not nesseceraly mean that Sharpova did so . To be correct, Sharapova have lived in US from childhood.
The instructions of Mildronate states that the appropriate course of treatment in case of heart condition is 1-2 months, not years which was the case of Maria.
Grindeks representative I.Gailite stated that Mildronate is very safe ( with very few side effects) and effective substance to combat heart conditions, diabetes and possibly other conditions,
“There have been no clinical studies providing scientific evidence that acute or chronic use of Meldonium increases the athlete's physical ability. Any suggestions to include Meldonium in the prohibited list have no scientific basis and are not justified,” Gailite wrote on email after Meldonium ban.
“We strongly believe that Meldonium should not be considered as doping but an effective medicine which is widely used in clinical practice and it should not be included in the Prohibited list.”
WADA strongly disagrees and ban stands also in year 2018.
Nobody at WADA cared to comment, but in a statement WADA posted that it banned Meldonium "because of evidence of its use by athletes with the intention of enhancing performance.”
In other words, if one uses substance with intention to enhance performance, it’s a performance enhancer, and that’s very odd because we could use this kind of definition on a variety of substances as caffeine.