Meldonium Inventor's Use Case Was For Soviet Troops At High-Altitudes In Afghanistan

mightyrick

Legend
I found an interesting article about Meldonium. I guess the inventor was tasked with creating a drug to better enable Soviet troops perform high-altitude operations in the mountainous regions of Afghanistan.

Copied from the following article (it is reprinted in other news outlets also):
http://www.wired.com/2016/03/original-users-meldonium-sharapovas-banned-drug-soviet-super-soldiers/

The Original Users of Meldonium, Sharapova’s Banned Drug? Soviet Super-Soldiers

Here is a riddle: How is tennis pro Maria Sharapova like a Cold War Soviet super-soldier? The answer is that both took the cardiac drug meldonium.

The difference, though, is that the 69-year-old Latvian chemist who invented the drug says only the super-soldiers were his intended use case. Ivar Kalvins, chair of the scientific board of the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis (which, yes, sounds like the name of a place you’re trying to clear in a first-person shooter, but OK) says he started working on the drug in people for use by Soviet troops in Afghanistan. “If the soldiers are to operate in the mountains, there’s a lack of oxygen,” Kalvins says. “The way to protect against damage is by using Mildronate.”

And indeed, Mildronate (that’s the brand name for meldonium) gave struggling recruits super-powers. Users had extra endurance and oxygen-carrying capacity that let them carry heavy backpacks over high-altitude mountain ranges and desert plateaus during the Soviet Union’s invasion of the rugged nation from 1979 to 1989. In fact, Kalvins was a finalist for the <a href="https://www.epo.org/learning-events/european-inventor/finalists/2015/kalvins.html" target="_blank">European Inventor Award</a> in 2015 (from the European Patent Office) for his work on the drug
.
During the Soviet era, according to Kalvins, the Latvian firm Grendiks shipped hundreds of metric tons of Mildronate to the Russian army. “There were very many who used it,” he says.
All well and good, but in January the World Anti-Doping Agency said athletes shouldn’t be among them. The agency banned it in light of a 2015 study that found 2.2 percent of athletes tested positive for the stuff.

Kalvins says the ban is literally a crime. “It’s a violation of human rights,” he says. “The sportsmen should be able to protect their health. We are living in an era of evidence-based medicine, so there are not any other new data supporting the ban.” He calls the prohibition “sudden” and “a surprise.”
So was Sharapova trying to get super-powered endurance or treat a heart condition, as she claimed on Monday? It’s true that athletes from Russia and the former Soviet countries are having a particularly hard time obeying WADA’s rules on drug use, and that meldonium seems especially popular with athletes from that region. Also, Grendiks says the appropriate course of treatment for a heart condition is four to six weeks, not the 10 years that Sharapova says she used it.

Grindeks spokeswoman Ilze Gailite says Mildronate is a safe, effective drug used to combat various heart conditions and diabetes. “There have been no clinical studies providing scientific evidence that acute or chronic use of meldonium increases the athlete&#8217;s physical ability. Any suggestions to include meldonium in the prohibited list have no scientific basis and are not justified,” Gailite writes in an email. “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 disagrees, obviously. Nobody there would comment, but in a statement Tuesday the agency said it banned meldonium &#8220;because of evidence of its use by athletes with the intention of enhancing performance.” In other words, if you use it to enhance performance, it’s a performance enhancer, and that’s a big <em>nyet-nyet</em>.

Here’s another riddle: How are Maria Sharapova and Soviet super-soldiers like Russian speed skaters? Take a guess. Three of those champion skaters have tested positive for meldonium use. The Associated Press <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/worl...580682-e5e9-11e5-a9ce-681055c7a05f_story.html" target="_blank">reported</a> Wednesday from Moscow that Russian ice skating officials said the champs are innocent, the victims of “sabotage” by jealous teammates who spiked their urine samples. The speed-skating association has hired British lawyers to argue their case.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
So is the inventor of Meldonium an evil genius who 'won' the war for Russia in Afghanistan or is he the guy who can't get his drug into any markets other than over the counter ones in Northern and Eastern Europe?
 

insideguy

Legend
I found an interesting article about Meldonium. I guess the inventor was tasked with creating a drug to better enable Soviet troops perform high-altitude operations in the mountainous regions of Afghanistan.

Copied from the following article (it is reprinted in other news outlets also):
http://www.wired.com/2016/03/original-users-meldonium-sharapovas-banned-drug-soviet-super-soldiers/

The Original Users of Meldonium, Sharapova’s Banned Drug? Soviet Super-Soldiers

Here is a riddle: How is tennis pro Maria Sharapova like a Cold War Soviet super-soldier? The answer is that both took the cardiac drug meldonium.

The difference, though, is that the 69-year-old Latvian chemist who invented the drug says only the super-soldiers were his intended use case. Ivar Kalvins, chair of the scientific board of the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis (which, yes, sounds like the name of a place you’re trying to clear in a first-person shooter, but OK) says he started working on the drug in people for use by Soviet troops in Afghanistan. “If the soldiers are to operate in the mountains, there’s a lack of oxygen,” Kalvins says. “The way to protect against damage is by using Mildronate.”

And indeed, Mildronate (that’s the brand name for meldonium) gave struggling recruits super-powers. Users had extra endurance and oxygen-carrying capacity that let them carry heavy backpacks over high-altitude mountain ranges and desert plateaus during the Soviet Union’s invasion of the rugged nation from 1979 to 1989. In fact, Kalvins was a finalist for the <a href="https://www.epo.org/learning-events/european-inventor/finalists/2015/kalvins.html" target="_blank">European Inventor Award</a> in 2015 (from the European Patent Office) for his work on the drug
.
During the Soviet era, according to Kalvins, the Latvian firm Grendiks shipped hundreds of metric tons of Mildronate to the Russian army. “There were very many who used it,” he says.
All well and good, but in January the World Anti-Doping Agency said athletes shouldn’t be among them. The agency banned it in light of a 2015 study that found 2.2 percent of athletes tested positive for the stuff.

Kalvins says the ban is literally a crime. “It’s a violation of human rights,” he says. “The sportsmen should be able to protect their health. We are living in an era of evidence-based medicine, so there are not any other new data supporting the ban.” He calls the prohibition “sudden” and “a surprise.”
So was Sharapova trying to get super-powered endurance or treat a heart condition, as she claimed on Monday? It’s true that athletes from Russia and the former Soviet countries are having a particularly hard time obeying WADA’s rules on drug use, and that meldonium seems especially popular with athletes from that region. Also, Grendiks says the appropriate course of treatment for a heart condition is four to six weeks, not the 10 years that Sharapova says she used it.

Grindeks spokeswoman Ilze Gailite says Mildronate is a safe, effective drug used to combat various heart conditions and diabetes. “There have been no clinical studies providing scientific evidence that acute or chronic use of meldonium increases the athlete&#8217;s physical ability. Any suggestions to include meldonium in the prohibited list have no scientific basis and are not justified,” Gailite writes in an email. “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 disagrees, obviously. Nobody there would comment, but in a statement Tuesday the agency said it banned meldonium &#8220;because of evidence of its use by athletes with the intention of enhancing performance.” In other words, if you use it to enhance performance, it’s a performance enhancer, and that’s a big <em>nyet-nyet</em>.

Here’s another riddle: How are Maria Sharapova and Soviet super-soldiers like Russian speed skaters? Take a guess. Three of those champion skaters have tested positive for meldonium use. The Associated Press <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/worl...580682-e5e9-11e5-a9ce-681055c7a05f_story.html" target="_blank">reported</a> Wednesday from Moscow that Russian ice skating officials said the champs are innocent, the victims of “sabotage” by jealous teammates who spiked their urine samples. The speed-skating association has hired British lawyers to argue their case.
What people dont understand is all those super soldiers also had heart problems and diabetes.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
Meldonium might function like a mild stimulant similar to caffeine, as some have reported, and it's hard for soldiers to lug a Caggia Espresso machine on their backs.
 

epiczeko

New User
I did hear that meldonium could actually be used mask other drugs in the system. So I guess its much better than being caught with anabolic steroids but rather something that their isnt much information on. I just hope she doesn't up being banned for more than a few months. She still is an ambassador to this sport and im sure she'd be able to turn it around and stage an aggassi like comeback
 

Vanhool

Legend
Meldonium might function like a mild stimulant similar to caffeine, as some have reported, and it's hard for soldiers to lug a Caggia Espresso machine on their backs.
Caffeine pills were readily available back then and super cheap. Why not just use those?
 

Firstservingman

Talk Tennis Guru
How are Maria Sharapova and Soviet super-soldiers like Russian speed skaters? Take a guess. Three of those champion skaters have tested positive for meldonium use. The Associated Press <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/worl...580682-e5e9-11e5-a9ce-681055c7a05f_story.html" target="_blank">reported</a> Wednesday from Moscow that Russian ice skating officials said the champs are innocent, the victims of “sabotage” by jealous teammates who spiked their urine samples. The speed-skating association has hired British lawyers to argue their case.
Yep - this whole thing reeks.

I've got a good nose for BS and all I'm smelling at the moment is a widespread doping program, sanctioned at the highest levels of Russian sports administration, and involving a wide range of athletes. Pova for certain.

The administrators and officials should all receive life bans, and the athletes should be issued bans with length decided on a case-by-case basis.
I heard something about Pova being off for two years? I'd say that's fair.
As for rescinding titles I'm not really going to pass judgement, but I don't think I would do it. The only variable here is that I hear meldonium can be a masking agent? If so, further research is required and if it's found that it's been masking something more severe I'd open up the possibility of amending titles too.

Russia should be officially cautioned and I would probably exclude them from Rio track and field, tennis, and walking at a minimum.
I wouldn't expect them to be participating in the next World Championships for some of these things either.
Time for them to be apologetic and clean up their act.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
So the solution to the riddles of the world are to be found on the tip of your nose?

There's already been reports on several nations, including Russia, and remedies are being undertaken.

Meldonium is however a political fraud perpetrated on sport by an incompetent global bureaucracy.
 

ABCD

Hall of Fame
So the solution to the riddles of the world are to be found on the tip of your nose?

There's already been reports on several nations, including Russia, and remedies are being undertaken.

Meldonium is however a political fraud perpetrated on sport by an incompetent global bureaucracy.
I am with you on this one.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
WOW,,,,so I does WORK,,,,,, where do I get some ?? I just hope it doesn't have any bad side effects we don't know about............... like causing CANCER ???????????????????????????????
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
Judging by the hysteria Meldonium has engendered in the pro-WADA camp there are already cases of brain decay that need to be investigated.
 

THUNDERVOLLEY

G.O.A.T.
I found an interesting article about Meldonium. I guess the inventor was tasked with creating a drug to better enable Soviet troops perform high-altitude operations in the mountainous regions of Afghanistan.

Copied from the following article (it is reprinted in other news outlets also):
http://www.wired.com/2016/03/original-users-meldonium-sharapovas-banned-drug-soviet-super-soldiers/

The Original Users of Meldonium, Sharapova’s Banned Drug? Soviet Super-Soldiers

Here is a riddle: How is tennis pro Maria Sharapova like a Cold War Soviet super-soldier? The answer is that both took the cardiac drug meldonium.

So, a drug designed to give soldiers an advantage was used--not a surprise, considering the decades of blatant criminal actions taken by Russian athletic programs. Utterly corrupt.

Yep - this whole thing reeks.

I've got a good nose for BS and all I'm smelling at the moment is a widespread doping program, sanctioned at the highest levels of Russian sports administration, and involving a wide range of athletes. Pova for certain.
..and her transparent press conference did not place her ahead of the story--but only made it easy for the truth her criminal drug use to be tied to her, and an entire program invested in cheating.

The administrators and officials should all receive life bans, and the athletes should be issued bans with length decided on a case-by-case basis.
I heard something about Pova being off for two years? I'd say that's fair.[/quote]

If Sharapova is handed any sort of lengthy punishment, she will quit tennis and use the media to go on an image cleanup / sympathy / "I did not know tour," without question.


As for rescinding titles I'm not really going to pass judgement, but I don't think I would do it. The only variable here is that I hear meldonium can be a masking agent? If so, further research is required and if it's found that it's been masking something more severe I'd open up the possibility of amending titles too.
..and at that moment, you will hear screaming not only from Sharapova's TW cheerleaders, but certain tennis PTB names--from ex-pros, trainers, agents, etc., all to protect a false image that provided their meal ticket to a degree.

Russia should be officially cautioned and I would probably exclude them from Rio track and field, tennis, and walking at a minimum.
I wouldn't expect them to be participating in the next World Championships for some of these things either.
Time for them to be apologetic and clean up their act.
They will do the typical: lie and shift blame--creating "anti Russian" conspiracy theories, much like that seen in every Sharapova=illegal drug user / WADA thread.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
So the Russian Army is the source of all authority when it comes to any drug issue under the sun? Very interesting proposition given that Russia is usually criticised as being grossly incompetent and corrupt.
 

okdude1992

Hall of Fame
Yep - this whole thing reeks.

I've got a good nose for BS and all I'm smelling at the moment is a widespread doping program, sanctioned at the highest levels of Russian sports administration, and involving a wide range of athletes. Pova for certain.

The administrators and officials should all receive life bans, and the athletes should be issued bans with length decided on a case-by-case basis.
I heard something about Pova being off for two years? I'd say that's fair.
As for rescinding titles I'm not really going to pass judgement, but I don't think I would do it. The only variable here is that I hear meldonium can be a masking agent? If so, further research is required and if it's found that it's been masking something more severe I'd open up the possibility of amending titles too.

Russia should be officially cautioned and I would probably exclude them from Rio track and field, tennis, and walking at a minimum.
I wouldn't expect them to be participating in the next World Championships for some of these things either.
Time for them to be apologetic and clean up their act.
A couple of Russian fighters have tested positive for Meldonium recently as well:
http://www.sherdog.com/news/news/Is...-Potential-AntiDoping-Policy-Violation-103399

So russian hockey,tennis,mma, speed skating...All have had athletes on Meldonium. Seems systematic. Not surprising
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
It seems widespread because it is a cheap drug used like any other cheap drug in the world. It has no performance enhancing effect and WADA has claimed no pharmacological evidence exists for such.
 

Tshooter

G.O.A.T.
I heard something about Pova being off for two years? I'd say that's fair.
Two years assumes ITF can't prove intent in which case it's four years as a result of the 2015 Rule Amendments (these changes according to WADA were pushed by athletes among other stakeholders the idea being to more severely punish "cheaters" as well as to provide more flexibility if the athlete could show they weren't cheating.)

Whether ITF is serious in probing the issue or simply takes an athletes story at face value, I can't say. If they were serious they would request, among other things, say the last year of emails and other correspondence to/from her and Max Eisenbud/IMG, her doctor and her trainer among other "Player Support personnel" all required to be familiar with the doping rules.

Any failure to provide the requested information permits any negative inference they want to draw notwithstanding Bart's auto-objection that no explicit admission of anything has been made.

Cutting through all the BS, mostly Bart's, they're trying to figure out if she cheated or not and if she did its four years absent some available reduction like for cooperation. If she didn't then it starts at 2 years and they try to figure out what fault she had that it was in her system and try to impose some proportional penalty. Of course the little details like standard and burden of proof and the penalty provisions all matter.
 
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Bartelby

Bionic Poster
It is obvious that a lot do believe wrongly in the drug. A simple antiquated drug easily detected and of no pharmacological benefit to performance. WADA will save them some time and money in the long run.

The drug is around thirty years old and sold over the counter in only a few countries. Does anyone really think it is a wonder drug? More importantly, science has not shown it to be performance enhancing.
 
It is obvious that a lot do believe wrongly in the drug. A simple antiquated drug easily detected and of no pharmacological benefit to performance. WADA will save them some time and money in the long run.

The drug is around thirty years old and sold over the counter in only a few countries. Does anyone really think it is a wonder drug? More importantly, science has not shown it to be performance enhancing.
Aspirin is over 75 years old and it is a wonder drug. Logic fail.

Are you implying your beloved Soviet army was a bunch of inept morons?
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
The von Trapp family would have fled Austria quicker if Meldonium was around then - they would have literally flown over the Alps like angels!
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
So the Russian Army is the source of all authority when it comes to any drug issue under the sun? Very interesting proposition given that Russia is usually criticised as being grossly incompetent and corrupt.

Aspirin is over 75 years old and it is a wonder drug. Logic fail.

Are you implying your beloved Soviet army was a bunch of inept morons?
 
So the Russian Army is the source of all authority when it comes to any drug issue under the sun? Very interesting proposition given that Russia is usually criticised as being grossly incompetent and corrupt.
What I know is that the drug was invented by a prestigious biochemist, and the mechanisms of action are well studied. Russian Army scientists far more intelligent than you vetted it, and the Russian Army spent millions in it.

Should I take the word of all those people (plus the word of hundreds of athletes who swear by it), or the word of an Australian pensioner with no scientific education who happens to suffer from extreme denial fueled by a curious case of pu$$y hypnosis?
 

Sentinel

Bionic Poster
Bart said Meldonium is a placebo with no actual effects whatsoever. I guess this finally puts an end to that line of BS. What will he come up with next?
A placebo, lol !!!

If my doctor had to administer me a placebo, why would he prescribe me one that is not approved and sold in my country, that has to be procured from across the globe !

Would he not just ask me to take spirulina, or chia seeds, or hemp seeds, or protein powder or honey, whey, or the dozen other things that keep getting hyped as super-foods ?
 

Sentinel

Bionic Poster
What I know is that the drug was invented by a prestigious biochemist, and the mechanisms of action are well studied. Russian Army scientists far more intelligent than you vetted it, and the Russian Army spent millions in it.

Should I take the word of all those people (plus the word of hundreds of athletes who swear by it), or the word of an Australian pensioner with no scientific education who happens to suffer from extreme denial fueled by a curious case of pu$$y hypnosis?
Who has picked up the word "pharmacological" in the last 8 hours and is brandishing it about like an ace of spades :D
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
No actual - and that could require specification - performance enhancing effects. Placebos by themselves have a powerful performance enhancing effect, by the way.
 

Sentinel

Bionic Poster
It seems widespread because it is a cheap drug used like any other cheap drug in the world. It has no performance enhancing effect and WADA has claimed no pharmacological evidence exists for such.
It seems widespread because ENTIRE teams were pulled out for fear of testing positive. Not one boy here, one there, who might genuinely have heart problems but entire teams.

That's widespread, if anything is.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
The Russian teams pulled out because WADA underestimated the length of time the drug stays in the system, so even though they stopped taking Meldonium they would have tested positive.
 

Sentinel

Bionic Poster
Meldonium might function like a mild stimulant similar to caffeine, as some have reported, and it's hard for soldiers to lug a Caggia Espresso machine on their backs.
Oh, so when you wish to, you can take the word of "some" people, at other times you can demand "pharmacological" proof.

Very consistent.

What is to say it wasn't just a placebo effect here also, as you have said later that placebo effects can be powerful.

No actual - and that could require specification - performance enhancing effects. Placebos by themselves have a powerful performance enhancing effect, by the way.
 

Sentinel

Bionic Poster
The Russian teams pulled out because WADA underestimated the length of time the drug stays in the system, so even though they stopped taking Meldonium they would have tested positive.
You seem to have pharmacological proof that they stopped taking Meldonium?

Anyway, you keep side-stepping the point: why were ENTIRE russian teams taking a medicine that is for heart disease ?
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
I've answered this a long, long time ago: there is a view over there that the drug is performance enhancing. They are plainly wrong. Whatever it does do, if anything, is trivial.

You seem to have pharmacological proof that they stopped taking Meldonium?

Anyway, you keep side-stepping the point: why were ENTIRE russian teams taking a medicine that is for heart disease ?
 

Sentinel

Bionic Poster
A couple of Russian fighters have tested positive for Meldonium recently as well:
http://www.sherdog.com/news/news/Is...-Potential-AntiDoping-Policy-Violation-103399

So russian hockey,tennis,mma, speed skating...All have had athletes on Meldonium. Seems systematic. Not surprising
I don't think anyone here has ever been able to answer this simple point: why are so many people on a medication meant for heart disease. This issue has been side-stepped and deflected for over a week.

Anyone who dares question is labeled "pro-wada camp" and now were even have brain decay for daring to ask.

Judging by the hysteria Meldonium has engendered in the pro-WADA camp there are already cases of brain decay that need to be investigated.
Talking about "hysteria", if we look back, we see it is you who created the maximum number of threads on this topic, so if anyone, you started this hysteria.

If you had kept quiet, this topic would have died off long back. You've kept this topic going for days and you are getting more and more people into it now. You keep insulting others, so you keep them coming back. You misquote them and twist words, so you keep engaging them. Then you pretend to be the victim.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
You keep talking about me in a derogatory manner despite promising to keep it decent. That alas did not last much longer than a coffee break, as I expected.
 

Sentinel

Bionic Poster
I've answered this a long, long time ago: there is a view over there that the drug is performance enhancing. They are plainly wrong. Whatever it does do, if anything, is trivial.
On what basis do you say this ? Are you just cooking this up, or basing this on some "puff piece" to use your words ?

Let's see what your sources are, with links, to see how true this is. And don't give us sources which you diss, when we quote from them.
 
No actual - and that could require specification - performance enhancing effects. Placebos by themselves have a powerful performance enhancing effect, by the way.
No, they don't. And they don't cure cancer either. That's why control groups in scientific experimentation and new drug trials are given placebos. You are completely clueless about scientific matters, Bart.
 
The Russian teams pulled out because WADA underestimated the length of time the drug stays in the system, so even though they stopped taking Meldonium they would have tested positive.
You show your cluelessness once again.

What sentinel was arguing about was how widespread Meldonium use was, no whether they stopped taking it before or after January 1st. Why don't you rub your two IQ points together and see if you can start a fire, sport.
 
I've answered this a long, long time ago: there is a view over there that the drug is performance enhancing. They are plainly wrong. Whatever it does do, if anything, is trivial.
But if Meldonium is a placebo and placebos have a powerful performance enhancing effect, then it logically follows that Meldonium is a PED.

Ever hear of a discipline within Philosophy called Logic, Barty Boy?
 
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