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Meldonium has been considered a drug used for doping since Jan 1, 2016 and many athletes that used this drug in the past and did not stop have tested positive for it and have been disqualified or banned from their sports.

My question is: why are these athletes almost exclusively from East Europe (Russia mostly) and why were they using this "medicine"?

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    Wikipedia says that: "Meldonium, which is not approved by the FDA in the United States, is registered and prescribed in Latvia, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Moldova and Kyrgyzstan." Maybe this could be one of the reasons. – Martin Apr 1 '16 at 13:39
  • Like @Martin said, the country of origin for the drug is Ukraine and most countries that advised athletes of it's benefits were located near Ukraine such as the countries mentioned by Martin. – jamauss Apr 4 '16 at 0:07
  • @Martin while it's speculative, I'd post that as an answer as I suspect it's the best we'll get. – Philip Kendall Apr 4 '16 at 6:31
  • @PhilipKendall If you think that something like this would make a sufficient answer, feel free to go ahead and post an answer. – Martin Apr 4 '16 at 6:35
  • High incidence rate of faulty moral compass combined with state sponsored doping programs. theguardian.com/sport/2015/nov/09/… – Andy P Apr 5 '16 at 14:02
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As Martin indicated in comments:

Approval status

Meldonium, which is not approved by the FDA in the United States, is registered and prescribed in Latvia, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Moldova, Lithuania and Kyrgyzstan.

This paragraph cites two resources:

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