Grindex pushes for lifting meldonium ban

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Latvia's pharma company Grindex executives on Friday met representatives of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to discuss the possibility of lifting the ban on Mildronāts, the Latvia-made heart drug famous for being used by Maria Sharapova, the company told the press Monday.

The meeting took place in Montreal and included Grindex boss Jurids Bundulis and scientist Ivars Kalviņš, one of the drug's inventors. Among others, WADA was represented by Senior Science Director Olivier Rabin and his deputy Osquel Barroso.

Grindex said that during the meeting parties agreed to continue cooperation, voicing interest in preventing ill-intentioned and unjustified use of the medication.

Grindex intends on appealing for WADA to remove Mildronats (meldonium) from the list of prohibited substances on scientific grounds.

"We are interested in that our medicine would be available to everyone who needs it, including athletes. At any rate, Grindex is against medically unjustified and ill-intentioned use of the drug," Juris Bundulis told the press.

After meldonium was banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on January 1, 2016, numerous athletes--many from Russia--have tested positive for the drug, with Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova the most notable case.

Sharapova is now appealing for the two-year ban imposed on her after testing positive for meldonium at the Australian Open. 

Manufacturers in March said they have stepped up production in response to international interest.

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