Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich has remarked doping cases in Russian football are given the most serious and toughest control.

Dvorkovich said doping abuse can happen in any form of sport and it is another matter that we try in football to put it under maximum tough control. The Deputy PM also said al the professional clubs take it seriously and everybody, both doctors and coaches, know what can be done and what must not. Dvorkovich also commented that he believes we will not face any serious cases like these and we will deal with the situation further on.

A new wave of doping cases in Russian sports has been connected with the use of the recently-banned drug, Meldonium. The World Anti-Doping Agency, which banned the drug on January 1 this year, had disclosed previously that 123 athletes had tested positive for Meldonium and the names of at least 22 Russian athletes suspected for use of Meldonium have been made public, among them tennis player Maria Sharapova, speed skater Pavel Kulizhnikov, and swimmer Yulia Efimova.

Meldonium was put by WADA on the list of banned substances on 16 September 2015 effective starting 1 January 2016. Meldonium (Mildronate) is used by amateur and professional athletes to increase resistance to physical strain and high strenuous activity during training sessions. The substance also has the potential of easing nervous, emotional, and psychological stresses at competitions. Mildronate is widely used in the Post-Soviet space to prevent heart diseases. Meldonium was referred by WADA as a prohibited drug and is classified to S4 class in the WADA list (hormones and metabolism modulators).

In another development, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has commented that allegations of systematic doping abuse among Russian swimmers that were reported by British media could be considered as “false accusations.”

The Times reported investigations “uncovered an alarming picture of systematic drug use” over the past decade in Russian swimming. Commenting on the allegations, Mutko said all statements must be made on behalf of the International Swimming Federation. The sports minister of Russia went on to say that The Times is not a regulating sports body and only states its own opinion and added today we may encounter the case of false accusations in regard to Russian swimming.

The world governing body of swimming late on Wednesday said it had no data on the allegedly systematic violations of anti-doping regulations by Russian swimmers. In a statement, FINA said any new allegations of doping in our sport, which are substantiated by evidence and which have not already been addressed, will be investigated as a matter of utmost urgency, because we have absolutely zero tolerance for the use of performance-enhancing substances in swimming.

The International Swimming Federation added it should however be noted that while FINA is not aware of any concrete evidence of systemic doping in Russian swimming, it has taken a particularly robust approach to our anti-doping procedures in relation to Russia and Russian competitions, in light of the recent investigation by WADA.

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