BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Russian State TV station tried to compare U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps’ cupping to doping, for which Russian Olympians were banned from the games, however, cupping is an entirely legal technique.

A therapeutic treatment in Chinese medicine, cupping is the process of heated glass cups being applied to the skin along the meridians of the body, creating suction as a way of stimulating the flow of energy. Cupping can reduce soreness and speed up healing of overworked muscles.

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Meldonium on the other hand became more common knowledge when Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova tested positive for the substance and received a two-year ban. The drug was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list at the start of this year because of growing evidence that athletes were using it to enhance performance.

“Following the Hollywood trend, the method was adapted by athletes,” said a Russian report, via a translation from Mashable. “According to them, vacuum-based massage improves circulation and overall well being, suggesting that muscle repair happens faster after physical exertion. In other words, the net effect from such practices in many ways, is not unlike those of meldonium.”

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