Russia boasts of better replacements for banned meldonium

MOSCOW (AP) A Russian state medical agency says it has found new and improved alternatives to meldonium, the banned substance for which tennis star Maria Sharapova tested positive.

Federal Medical-Biological Agency head Vladimir Uiba says Russia has found ''several drugs which are not banned and work significantly better than meldonium,'' in comments carried by Russian news agencies.

Uiba didn't name the new drugs and it wasn't immediately clear whether they are already being used by top Russian athletes. Uiba's agency is tasked with providing medical support to Russian national teams in many sports.

Sharapova was among over 100 athletes who tested positive after the heart drug meldonium was banned in sport last year.

Most of those were cleared because of evidence they had stopped taking meldonium before it was banned, though Sharapova was suspended because she had taken it after the cutoff date.

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