Former WTA Ratings leader Maria Sharapova has revealed she failed a drugs test at the Australian Open. It is as surprising as annoying. A few months ago it was discovered that Russian athletes were using forbidden substances and disregarded regulations. Now tennis? What more will sport supporters have to be ready for?
The Russian Tennis Star, 28, tested positive for meldonium, a substance she has been taking since 2006 for health issues. She will be provisionally suspended from the 12th of March. Nike said that it would put its sponsorship on hold with her, until the investigation is completed.
Sharapova provided the anti-doping sample in question on the 26th January and was charged on the 2nd March after the positive result.
“It is very important for you to understand that, for 10 years, this medicine was not on Wada’s banned list and I had been legally taking that medicine for the past 10 years,” she said. “But, on 1 January, the rules changed and meldonium became a prohibited substance, which I had not known.”
Meldonium is used for angina patients but athletes use it because it enhances their endurance and ability to recover from big efforts. It was placed on the ban list because Wada noticed it being used very frequently and discovered its advantage for sportsmen significantly.
Sharapova had “abnormal electrocardiogram readings” and “some diabetes indicators”, which prompted the doctor to recommend medication, including meldonium. That’s what she said and this is what everybody would say after failing a drug tests.
This makes me angry. I don’t even understand how it is possible that some substances are forbidden and the others are not. To be honest, only a really small number of people on the world suffer from diseases which need steroids and other strength-enhancing drugs. Why does the majority of sportsmen need them?
I watch a lot of football (it’s not soccer Americans!), basketball and tennis. I always support the worse team. But after each doping scandal, I can’t really figure who is better and who is just using steroids. Therefore I see only one solution. The one way ticket. If we want clear sport, we have to ban all drugs which can help athletes to achieve better results.
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