Russian President Vladimir has opened up about the Panama Papers leak, banned drug meldonium and remarriage during an annual call-in show. The Russian President said athletes using meldonium does not constitute as doping and he acknowledged the accuracy of the Panama Papers blaming the leak on the United States.
"This drug [meldonium] has nothing to do with doping. It does not impact results at all. It simply keeps the heart muscle in good condition under high strain," said Putin. A total of 40 Russian athletes, including tennis star Maria Sharapova and Olympic swimmer Yulia Efimova, have tested positive for meldonium since the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) banned the substance starting January 2016.
Wada said on 11 April that some athletes who tested positive for the substance might escape ban since it still remains uncertain how long meldonium takes to leave the body. "There is currently a lack of clear scientific information on excretion times," said Wada in the guidance published on 11 April, reported BBC News. "In these circumstances, Wada considers that there may be grounds for no fault or negligence on the part of the athlete."
When prompted by a caller about why Putin did not react to the "unreliable information about offshores", he replied: "Strange as it may seem, they are not publishing unreliable information about offshores. The information is accurate. I get the impression it was put together not even by journalists but most likely by lawyers," said Putin. Blaming the leak on "staff of US official institutions", Putin added: "We should not expect any repentance from them, they will keep doing it anyway and the closer the elections, the more smear campaigns there will be."
Putin, 63, laughed off when asked about Russia's next first lady but said "maybe" he will remarry in the future. Putin said while he's happy his ex-wife is doing well, he is hesitant to remarry since he is afraid his marriage will affect the country's shaky foreign exchange rate or oil prices, reported France24 News. The Russian President and his wife Lyudmila announced their divorce in 2013 after a relationship spanning 30 years.