Maria Sharapova, the most marketable female athlete in the world, admitted to failing a drug test, this January at the Australian Open. Meldonium, the drug in question was outlawed by WADA with effect from January 1, after they found out that in some capacities, the drug might be used by athletes for performance enhancing. She claims that she had been taking this drug legally for over 10 years.
Maria Sharapova will attend an International Tennis Federation anti-doping hearing in London on 18th May with the Russian facing a possible ban of up to four years for failing the drug test. Though this will be the first of the many hearings in the future, it will also be the most important one as the possibilities of her fate in the tennis world shall be clearer.
What is meldonium?
The drug is manufactured in Latvia, and only sold in Baltic countries, along with Russia. The sale of the drug is prohibited in USA, Sharapova’s country of residence. Sharapova claims that she started using it 10 years back, after her family doctor prescribed it, for a “heart condition” that she had, along with diabetic symptoms.
As a result of the shocker revelation by Sharapova, giants like Nike and Tag Heuer have withdrawn their support and have cancelled their contracts with the Russian with immediate effect. On the other hand, racquet manufacturer Head, has decided to continue to partner with Sharapova and have offered their support. The fans and other players on tour are also divided in their opinions regarding the whole episode.
I am pursuing B.Sc.(Hons.) Mathematics from Jesus and Mary College, Delhi University. I am an avid follower of tennis and enjoy watching cricket as well. My interest lies in portrait sketching and swimming.