Austrian anti-doping officials slam WADA's meldonium policy

VIENNA (AP) Austrian anti-doping authorities have slammed WADA's decision to relax its guidelines for meldonium cases, saying it's ''a bad signal'' ahead of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The ethics commission of Austria's national anti-doping agency says on its website ''the partial amnesty for many meldonium cases ... is a setback to the efforts for a clean and doping-free sport.''

The commission says ''this decision snubs fair athletes, who do not dope and stick to the rules.''

More than 170 athletes, mainly from Eastern Europe, have failed doping tests since meldonium became a banned substance on Jan. 1, 2016. Last week, the World Anti-Doping Agency said athletes could avoid sanctions if their sample showed only minor aces of meldonium, indicating they stopped taking the drug before it was banned.

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