Silent Twitter Follower wrote:You don't have to have a prescription to consume Gatorade, Advil, to sleep in an altitude tent, or etc. It was not legal for these athletes to take Meldonium and the only intent for it's usage was to cheat. The drug should have never been in their systems in the first place and they should have been banned once it was discovered how it was being used. If you are taking thyroid medication to lose weight you should be banned if the intent is there. Any doctor, agent, or coach that has prescribed/given Meldonium to their athletes should be given a lifetime ban. They are taking a heart disease drug and given it to athletes to improve performance which breaks the fundamental principals of a clean sport. Athletes and their teams shouldn't be given the benefit of the doubt to get it out of their systems. These cheaters weren't giving athletes unwilling to illegally obtain a prescription drug the benefit of the doubt for a fair fight on the track.
That is where my frustration comes from. Cheating at this level is blatant and should be viewed with zero tolerance.
Apparently you do not have to have a prescription to buy Meldonium in Russia and perhaps in other countries. Punishing athletes based on whether a prescription is required is not workable because different countries have different laws on which drugs require prescriptions. For instance, in the US people take ibuprofen ("Vitamin I") before races all the time with the intent that it be performance enhancing. It's an over the counter drug just like Meldonium in Russia.
In the same way, banning anything taken with the "intent" to be performance enhancing is not a workable rule. People take sodium bicarbonate, caffeine pills, etc. all with the intent that they be performance enhancing. Gu gels have amino acids that are supposedly performance enhancing. Yet none of these things result in athletes being punished. If you are going to punish people for these things, you need to tell them what the rules are in advance.
Like I said before, punishing people because you decide that something "breaks the fundamental principals of a clean sport" when you have not specifically told people what specific conduct you are prohibiting is unfair. To be fair people need to know in advance what the rules are and whether they are violating the rules.