The Sharapova scandal explained
So here we will do our best to explain the Sharapova scandal to give you all the info you need to sound up to date around the water cooler.
Maria Sharapova was found guilty of taking a banned substance, Meldonium, earlier this year. Meldonium is also known as Mildronate â€“ the name by which Sharapova knew the drug having taken it since 2006.
Itâ€™s commonly used to treat angina, other heart problems and diabetes. Sharapova referred to a family history of diabetes during her announcement this week.
Meldonium was only added to the World Anti-Doping Agencyâ€™s banned list from the start of 2016. However, it had been on the organisationâ€™s monitoring programme throughout 2015.
Studies have indicated the drug can increase an individualâ€™s capacity for physical exertion, which is obviously advantageous to a top level athlete.
The drug is manufactured by Latvian company Grindeks and widely exported to Sharapovaâ€™s homeland of Russia and several neighbouring countries. However, it isnâ€™t approved for use in the United States, where the tennis player has her base.
Sharapova was the second Russian sportswoman to announce a positive test for meldonium on Monday. Figure skater Ekaterina Bobrova confirmed to Russian agency R-Sport that she had tested positive at Januaryâ€™s European Championships, and was ruled out of the World Championships as a result.
Sportspeople will die in action as a result of being denied meldonium, according to the heart drug’s inventor.
“We will see many deaths on the field,” Ivars Calvins told BBC Radio 5 live. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/35768294
“Athletes who use mildronate will not be able to do it in the future and will be not more protected.”
The Latvian added: “This drug was on the market for 32 years – as a self-protective agent – and now suddenly it becomes forbidden.
“You could see a sudden death in the sports events sometimes.”
World number seven Sharapova said she has been taking the drug since 2006 for health reasons.
The 28-year-old Russian, who said she was unaware meldonium was added to Wada’s list of banned substances on 1 January, failed a drugs test at the Australia Open later that month.
Sharapova, the highest-paid female athlete in the world in 2015, could be banned for as many as four years.
Meldoniums ability to adjust the body’s use of energy, stimulating glucose metabolism and also helping to clear fatty build-up in the arteries it the main point of contention. This could eventually lead to a positive effect on stamina and endurance in athletes.
I guess this comes down to how cynical you are. The fact that Russian doping is already such a hot topic makes it hard to come to anything but the obvious conclusion that Sharapova was trying to cheat the system. Is it too much to expect one of the highest paid athletes in the world to be up to date with what she can and can’t put in her body! If not her, than at least one of her many entourage!!
On the flip side of that, it has only recently been added to the banned list and has proven medical benefits to people that genuinely need to take it. Sharapova has mentioned on several occasions about her family medical history. Perhaps it was just a simple mistake, she genuinely didn’t realise and is more guilty through stupidity a la Rio Ferdinand (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/3333091.stm).
Could we genuinely see sports stars dying on the field as suggested by the drugs inventor??
Whatever your view we would love to know your thoughts so comment below.