Do They Test For Mildonium?
By Michael Woods
No one I know of in the PED testing sphere has a better track record that I know of than Dr. Margaret Goodman, the Las Vegas physician who used to be with the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
She's of late been gaining traction with more star pugilists choosing to do testing with her outfit, VADA. Last year, writer Thomas Hauser looked long and hard at USADA, which had been the tester of choice for many high profile athletes, including Floyd Mayweather. It feels like VADA, with an unsullied rep, has taken market share from USADA, in a big way.
I checked in with Goodman to ask whether VADA tests for the substance which racqueteer Maria Sharapova, meldonium.
“Meldonium/Mildronate can be a performance enhancing substance that increases exercise capacity,” she told me. “It's tested for by VADA in every collection. At this time it's not even FDA-approved for use in the US, but was developed as a heart drug for those with heart failure or cardiac ischemia, which is lack of blood flow to the heart. There is little or no reason a healthy athlete should require this type of substance. If it was given to an athlete it could be for only one purpose, performance enhancement. Any drug, even over-the-counter drugs, can have potential side effects. When it has been prescribed for heart disease, it's typically only for a few weeks. In other words, it's not indicated for long-term use. One has to wonder if Ms. Sharapova or any of the other athletes using this drug understand the risk of using such a substance, which include increased intracranial pressure (increased pressure within the brain), low blood pressure (hypotension), and that such usage may contribute to those with kidney/liver disease. You can see it would be potentially extremely dangerous in a fighter, especially one making weight.”
If any fighters are using this stuff or have contemplated doing so, please take heed.