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No need for meldonium in Formula 1 – Kvyat

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Five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova, banned after tested positive for meldonium at the Australian Open in January

Five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova, banned after tested positive for meldonium at the Australian Open in January

Daniil Kvyat has dismissed suggestions F1 drivers are at risk of being caught taking meldonium, a newly-banned drug.

Over 100 international athletes, mainly Russian, have tested positive for the substance since it was recently prohibited, with tennis star Maria Sharapova claiming she took it for genuine health issues.

But it is argued the drug also has performance-enhancing qualities, leading to Russia’s only F1 driver Kvyat on Wednesday being asked if he has taken it.

“Of course not,” he is quoted as saying by Tass news agency.

“I think doping would do little to help the drivers in formula one,” the 22-year-old insisted. “There are some tracks where we are at our physical limits, but usually we train enough to get through these races without problem.”

Kvyat, who drives for Red Bull, was also asked about the news that his countryman Sergey Sirotkin has secured a Friday practice role at their home race at Sochi this week.

“I’m glad for him and hopefully it will grow into something bigger in the future,” he is quoted by Ria Novosti.

Finally, reporters asked Kvyat about his famous run-in with Sebastian Vettel two weeks ago, and whether he had a chance to look at the video replays of the clash.

“I didn’t particularly care to see it but it was everywhere and couldn’t avoid it,” he smiled.

“I did what every racing driver would have done, Ferrari wasn’t ready for it and they paid the price,” Kvyat added. “I don’t have anything more to say about it.”

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