Does meldonium work?

In the swimming pool the other day, I overheard a man – aging but pretty fit – tell a young female instructor, “I popped down some meldonium,” presumably before going to the gym, “two times 250.” Two 250-milligram pills, then.

You can buy meldonium, or mildronate, over the counter in Russian drugstores (so they say). It’s supposed to help blood supply to the heart, but does it really work? It seems that neither the USSR, nor Russia, nor Latvia have obtained positive test results that would be recognized as valid by the US FDA. What if it’s a placebo? Or shall we take WADA’s ban as evidence that it works?

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