One of the finest tennis stars, Russian player Maria Sharapova has failed the dope test for the banned drug Meldonium in Australian open 2016. She has been provisionally suspended from playing.
She has many grand slams to her credit and such a news has led her fans teary eyed. In her defense Sharapova clarified that she has been taking this drug for the past ten years and she was not aware of the fact that this drug has been banned by WADA in January 2016. She says she is taking this drug due to lack of magnesium in the body and to prevent and treat other ailments that are genetically inherent from the family.
Medically Meldonium is a drug that is used to treat the diseases caused due to inadequate blood supply to the body. These diseases might be angina, chronic heart failure and multiple problems. It is helpful to the athletes as it provides increased blood supply to the muscles, thereby increasing supply of oxygen. The drug also helps in increasing their endurance against stress and immunity. The drug is quite helpful to the athletes and its regular intake can prove quite beneficial.
The WADA banned the drug in January 2016 and therefore its consumption or use could land any athlete in trouble, as the authorities are strict in abiding by the rules.
Maria a star in her own way has 35 WTA singles titles, 5 Grand Slam titles and an Olympic silver medal to her credit. It was a treat for the eyes to watch her play on clay or grass. She was a class apart, but anything like this would ever come up was beyond any imagination. She is the highest paid woman sports person and this dope test coming negative could lead to loosing her up to $30mn earnings per year. That’s a huge price she will pay for the mistake committed.
The only resort with her is that she could apply for retroactive therapeutic use exemption, which allows the player to use a substance that is banned only in case if there is a medical condition the athlete faces.
It is however very clear that she will face the rough times ahead. According to her lawyers, she might get a penalty of suspension from the game for 2 years, unintentionally using a substance that has been banned. But this all depends on how the things turn out to be. This will surely be in our minds for a long time to come, as she was a player class apart.