Why I don't believe Maria Sharapova

By Rob Sutherland of The Daily Telegraph

Maria Sharapova speaks during a news conference in Los Angeles where she admitted to failing a drugs test. Photo / AP
Maria Sharapova speaks during a news conference in Los Angeles where she admitted to failing a drugs test. Photo / AP

We should not be mourning the positive substance test of Maria Sharapova, we should be celebrating her ability to play at the highest level while clearly so sick.

Well that's what you should be doing if you believe that Sharapova has been taking Meldonium/Mildronate for years in order to combat magnesium deficiency and due to a family history of diabetes.

Maybe Maria does have a magnesium deficiency that a daily banana can't fix, who am I to say her family has not got a history of diabetes?

But here's the thing, the substance Maria chose to fix these maladies just happens to be a performance enhancing drug.

Rachel Smalley: Sharapova's excuses are paper-thin

One review of the effects of Meldonium on exercise performance listed the following benefits:

* Decreased levels of lactate and urea in blood

* Improved economy of glycogen: level of glycogen increased in the cells during the long-lasting exercise

* Increased endurance properties and aerobic capabilities of athletes

* Improved functional parameters of heart activity

* Increased physical work capabilities

* Increased rate of recovery after maximal and sub-maximal loads

And there is evidence that WADA knew this drug was being abused by athletes at least as early as 2015.

Listen: Dr David Gerrard on what is meldonium

In a recent article on the drug, performance athlete Jake Shelley wrote that Meldonium is an anti-ischaemic drug used clinically to treat angina, myocardial infarction and chronic heart failure.

It is manufactured in Latvia under the commercial name of Mildronate and is one of the country's largest exports, with turnover reaching EUR 65 million in 2013. It is not yet approved by the FDA for use in the USA.

Read more:
Sharapova's arrogance the real problem
Ex-champ Jennifer Capriati's fury after Maria Sharapova's positive drug test
Nike cut ties with Sharapova

Meldonium was added to the WADA list of banned substances on January 1, 2016 because of "evidence of its use by athletes with the intention of enhancing performance."

This evidence had led WADA to add the drug to its monitoring program a year prior to the ban, on January 1st 2015.

During this monitoring period 8320 random doping control urine samples covering different classes of sport either from in- or out-of-competition were analysed for the presence of Meldonium. 182 positive Meldonium findings were returned.

With the evidence in, WADA chose to add the drug to its banned list effective from January 1 this year.

- news.com.au

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