Russian microbiologist hints at WADA's potential ban on caffeine

Indo Asian News Service

Moscow, March 4 (IANS) The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) may possibly include caffeine in the list of its banned performance enhancing drugs for athletes, the Russian Federal Micro-Biological Agency (FMBA) Head Vladimir Uiba said.

"Caffeine, for instance, is currently on WADA's waiting list of prohibited substances," Tass news agency quoted Uiba as saying on Friday.

"If it (caffeine) eventually makes its way into the list of the prohibited substances, we will be forced to recommend everyone against drinking coffee as well as soft drinks containing caffeine," Uiba suggested.

"This substance has not yet been approved for the list of banned substances, but theoretically it can happen this year."

WADA updates its list of banned substances annually and last year numerous Russian athletes were subjected to suspensions after the world's governing anti-doping organisation banned the widely used pharmaceutical, meldonium.

It was a move, which came as an unexpected measure not only to Russian athletes, but also for national sports federations of ex-Soviet states as well.

The drug meldonium (mildronate) was included in the list of preparations banned by WADA from January 1, 2016. The presence of the meldonium substance in the athlete's blood during and between competitions is a violation of anti-doping rules.

WADA announced last April that the concentration of less than one microgram of meldonium in the body's system of an athlete, whose doping tests were conducted before March 1, was acceptable.