The Sharapova drug announcement

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Post by sirfredperry on Sun 06 Mar 2016, 6:59 pm

First topic message reminder :

A big announcement on Monday night from Sharapova was not, as some thought, about her retirement but about the shock news that she had failed a drug test at this year's Australian Open.


Last edited by sirfredperry on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 11:02 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Change heading)

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Post by kingraf on Fri 11 Mar 2016, 7:29 pm

I mean come on, you can't surely think she decided she wouldn't get tested for it. She's not stupid.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri 11 Mar 2016, 7:43 pm

No one is saying that. She forgot to check her list but I would still like to know why she was taking it for so long and taking a drug only prescribed in Eastern Europe and not the States where she lives. After all it was put onto the banned list for a reason.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri 11 Mar 2016, 7:48 pm

In any case let's just presume she was taking it for genuine health reasons and she didn't notice it was now banned. Sorry but tough luck she took a banned substance and has to face the full consequences or else where do we draw the line. Others who dope could use this excuse and expect similar lenient treatment. As I said earlier it is time for the tennis authorities to make a tough stand on the use of banned substances whatever the circumstances. No tolerance should be the policy.
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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Fri 11 Mar 2016, 7:49 pm

CC, from what I can gather it's actually banned outright in America so it's bizarre that someone who resides in the States would take a substance only available in Eastern Europe.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri 11 Mar 2016, 7:51 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:CC, from what I can gather it's actually banned outright in America so it's bizarre that someone who resides in the States would take a substance only available in Eastern Europe.

Exactly. That is one thing I find odd. If she has a medical condition she wold be taking prescribed US drugs not stuff from a foreign country.
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Post by kingraf on Fri 11 Mar 2016, 7:56 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:No one is saying that. She forgot to check her list but I would still like to know why she was taking it for so long and taking a drug only prescribed in Eastern Europe and not the States where she lives. After all it was put onto the banned list for a reason.
The story is clearly a PR spin as it sounds better than saying she's been knowingly taking an unfair advantage for a decade.
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Post by socal1976 on Fri 11 Mar 2016, 8:00 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:Sorry but it is about time the tennis authorities grew a pair of balls. Olympic skier Alan Baxter was without drug infraction and won a medal in slalom but he had taken a sinus clearing nasal spray. Legal if British but he used a US product which had an illegal substance in it. He was stripped of his medal and banned. Come on tennis authorities show you have the balls to make tough decisions.

Remember that this drug (though legal until recently) was being used by her for years even though doctor's say it should only be used over short spells. Explanation please. Especially, as the drug can be used for nefarious reasons such as masking.
 Sounds like this Baxter case is a huge miscarriage of justice from what you are telling me. Why this is held out as a laudable example to be emulated is a bit beyond me. This if true is a damning indictment of the current system. I have allergies because I chose to play a sport should I have to suffer when any person can simply by instant relief at the local convenience store?

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri 11 Mar 2016, 8:05 pm

socal1976 wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:Sorry but it is about time the tennis authorities grew a pair of balls. Olympic skier Alan Baxter was without drug infraction and won a medal in slalom but he had taken a sinus clearing nasal spray. Legal if British but he used a US product which had an illegal substance in it. He was stripped of his medal and banned. Come on tennis authorities show you have the balls to make tough decisions.

Remember that this drug (though legal until recently) was being used by her for years even though doctor's say it should only be used over short spells. Explanation please. Especially, as the drug can be used for nefarious reasons such as masking.
 Sounds like this Baxter case is a huge miscarriage of justice from what you are telling me. Why this is held out as a laudable example to be emulated is a bit beyond me. This if true is a damning indictment of the current system. I have allergies because I chose to play a sport should I have to suffer when any person can simply by instant relief at the local convenience store?

It sends out a message of no tolerance. You take a banned substance and you are out. No ifs no buts. It may make dopers think twice if they realise the consequences. Sure beats the current seemingly slack stance tennis takes on the subject.
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Post by socal1976 on Fri 11 Mar 2016, 8:12 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:
socal1976 wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:Sorry but it is about time the tennis authorities grew a pair of balls. Olympic skier Alan Baxter was without drug infraction and won a medal in slalom but he had taken a sinus clearing nasal spray. Legal if British but he used a US product which had an illegal substance in it. He was stripped of his medal and banned. Come on tennis authorities show you have the balls to make tough decisions.

Remember that this drug (though legal until recently) was being used by her for years even though doctor's say it should only be used over short spells. Explanation please. Especially, as the drug can be used for nefarious reasons such as masking.
 Sounds like this Baxter case is a huge miscarriage of justice from what you are telling me. Why this is held out as a laudable example to be emulated is a bit beyond me. This if true is a damning indictment of the current system. I have allergies because I chose to play a sport should I have to suffer when any person can simply by instant relief at the local convenience store?

It sends out a message of no tolerance. You take a banned substance and you are out. No ifs no buts. It may make dopers think twice if they realise the consequences. Sure beats the current seemingly slack stance tennis takes on the subject.
Well  I mean it would have sent an even bigger message if we chopped off his hands for it. I mean the story you just told me, and I know nothing about the case sounds like a gross miscarriage of justice. I mean are we trying to rule through terror and destroying people's lives to send messages?

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri 11 Mar 2016, 8:19 pm

Look if sportmen/women take banned substances there is no place for them in that sport. If some unfortunates are punished then so be it. No tolerance is the only way to go to guarantee catching more dopers. So why do you think Sharapova was taking a drug for years banned in the States. So why was she taking it and why was she getting it from the other side of the world?
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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Fri 11 Mar 2016, 8:21 pm

Baxter's ban benefited a more traditional Winter Olympic nation in Austria so go figure on that one.

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Post by socal1976 on Fri 11 Mar 2016, 8:28 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:Look if sportmen/women take banned substances there is no place for them in that sport. If some unfortunates are punished then so be it. No tolerance is the only way to go to guarantee catching more dopers. So why do you think Sharapova was taking a drug for years banned in the States. So why was she taking it and why was she getting it from the other side of the world?
I was the first person to say her diabetes drivel didn't pass the smell test. I hope she gets a fair suspension.  I will tell you Craig, I don't believe punishing unfortunates unfairly like the case you cited is fair or just. I don't want destroy people who don't deserve it, to terrorize other potential wrongdoers. This Baxter case you described is an awful miscarriage of justice that probably ruined the guy. I want people treated fairly and punished to the extent of wrong doing, not destroying people for minor infractions so we can rule through terror.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri 11 Mar 2016, 8:32 pm

The Baxter case was unfortunate and very tough on him but life is tough at times. Sure some will end up suffering but a tough stance and no tolerance is the only way to go.
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Post by hawkeye on Fri 11 Mar 2016, 9:38 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:
socal1976 wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:Sorry but it is about time the tennis authorities grew a pair of balls. Olympic skier Alan Baxter was without drug infraction and won a medal in slalom but he had taken a sinus clearing nasal spray. Legal if British but he used a US product which had an illegal substance in it. He was stripped of his medal and banned. Come on tennis authorities show you have the balls to make tough decisions.

Remember that this drug (though legal until recently) was being used by her for years even though doctor's say it should only be used over short spells. Explanation please. Especially, as the drug can be used for nefarious reasons such as masking.
 Sounds like this Baxter case is a huge miscarriage of justice from what you are telling me. Why this is held out as a laudable example to be emulated is a bit beyond me. This if true is a damning indictment of the current system. I have allergies because I chose to play a sport should I have to suffer when any person can simply by instant relief at the local convenience store?

It sends out a message of no tolerance. You take a banned substance and you are out. No ifs no buts. It may make dopers think twice if they realise the consequences. Sure beats the current seemingly slack stance tennis takes on the subject.

That's not the message it sends me. The message I'm getting from this is that it's acceptable to ruin someones career to make some sort of point. This person as far as any reasonable person would judge hadn't taken something illegal to deliberately gain advantage. They would have been as shocked as anyone when they tested positive. Who are these messages being sent to? Idiots?

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Post by Guest on Fri 11 Mar 2016, 9:45 pm

hawkeye wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:
socal1976 wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:Sorry but it is about time the tennis authorities grew a pair of balls. Olympic skier Alan Baxter was without drug infraction and won a medal in slalom but he had taken a sinus clearing nasal spray. Legal if British but he used a US product which had an illegal substance in it. He was stripped of his medal and banned. Come on tennis authorities show you have the balls to make tough decisions.

Remember that this drug (though legal until recently) was being used by her for years even though doctor's say it should only be used over short spells. Explanation please. Especially, as the drug can be used for nefarious reasons such as masking.
 Sounds like this Baxter case is a huge miscarriage of justice from what you are telling me. Why this is held out as a laudable example to be emulated is a bit beyond me. This if true is a damning indictment of the current system. I have allergies because I chose to play a sport should I have to suffer when any person can simply by instant relief at the local convenience store?

It sends out a message of no tolerance. You take a banned substance and you are out. No ifs no buts. It may make dopers think twice if they realise the consequences. Sure beats the current seemingly slack stance tennis takes on the subject.

That's not the message it sends me. The message I'm getting from this is that it's acceptable to ruin someones career to make some sort of point. This person as far as any reasonable person would judge hadn't taken something illegal to deliberately gain advantage. They would have been as shocked as anyone when they tested positive. Who are these messages being sent to? Idiots?

I'd say Sharapova is one of these idiots. She ruined her own career.

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Post by hawkeye on Fri 11 Mar 2016, 9:58 pm

socal1976 wrote:I think the ITF and WADA should do a better job of education, maybe for something like this especially in terms of adding new banned substances they should do more than send a couple of emails.

Yes. If Sharapova failed to see the warning then there has been a problem with communication. WADA's job isn't to catch athletes out who have taken a banned drug without realizing, it's to prevent athletes using them in the first place. From the evidence if a representative had spoken to Sharapova and told her personally that the drug she had been taking for 10 years was now banned then she wouldn't have illegally used the drug this year. She could have been prevented from using a banned drug. This would of course be better for Sharapova because she wouldn't be facing a potentially ruined career but it would have been better for the sport as a whole because it's image wouldn't have been tainted by having a top player use a banned drug during competition. The whole mess could have been prevented with better communication. I feel sure that WADA will ensure that communication is improved in the future to prevent something similar happening. But this will be too late for Sharapova.

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Fri 11 Mar 2016, 10:05 pm

It's not down to WADA to do that, if Sharapova and her team were to stupid to take heed of the warnings of which there were many then that is there own fault. No doubt other Eastern Europeans were using it before January but thus far no other Tennis player has failed a test so communication can't have been that bad.

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Post by Henman Bill on Fri 11 Mar 2016, 11:53 pm

Good thread. Everyone paced themselves nicely. It's annoying when you go away for 4 hours and come back to 4 pages. Maybe starting to repeat itself a bit though, time to take a breather if there's no new facts or different arguments to add.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 12:19 am

But why, when she is a US citizens is she getting a drug that is NOT prescribed in the US but only in Eastern Europe. Her GP would be prescribed a drug that is commonly used in the US for her 'condition'.
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Post by Guest on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 12:24 am

Mochyn du wrote:All Sharapova did was to continue taking something that suddenly became banned.  How or why she chose to use the drug up to January 2016 is irrelevant.  She did not cheat up to December 2015.

I personally think she was unlucky and think that many elite tennis players do whatever it takes to get an edge whilst playing within the rules.

Some of the gloating on here is sickening and perhaps you should take a hard look at your own heroes and wonder whether this could have happened to them maybe?


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Post by socal1976 on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 12:26 am

Hammersmith harrier wrote:It's not down to WADA to do that, if Sharapova and her team were to stupid to take heed of the warnings of which there were many then that is there own fault. No doubt other Eastern Europeans were using it before January but thus far no other Tennis player has failed a test so communication can't have been that bad.

No you are right this wouldn't be WADA's job but the ITF or WTA who has a big financial stake in the drawing power of Sharapova and the image of tennis in general should work to get info like this out to their stars. Sharapova isn't super sympathetic because it is clear she was taking this for years to gain an edge, but a case like Cilic's or Baxter's maybe could have been prevented with better education of the athletes about drugs with different names and ingredients that could even be over the counter. Mistake or lack of adequate information on part of the athlete in these three cases has had ruinous consequences for them and the sport. Of course even with greater education some mistakes will occur and some people will still cheat, but it can't hurt if it actual ends up preventing violations of the rules in the future. Especially, when even small violations have such reputational damage to both the athlete and the game. Understanding that at the end of the day of course the athlete is responsible and in this case Sharapova is not that sympathetic of a defendant.

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Post by socal1976 on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 12:33 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:But why, when she is a US citizens is she getting a drug that is NOT prescribed in the US but only in Eastern Europe. Her GP would be prescribed a drug that is commonly used in the US for her 'condition'.

I get my dad to bring me sleep medicine from Iran because it is strong as crap, cheap, and actually works better for me than the over the counter crap in America; not kidding they sell like 1970s valium over the counter there for like pennies. Drugs in America can be ten or hundred times more expensive than anywhere else can cost 50, 100 or more dollars per pill. Hence why many Americans who aren't even Russian/American like Sharapova buy their drugs in Canada. I know money is no object for Sharapova, and again like you I believe she was doing it to cheat. But most Americans have bought dope legal and otherwise from both Canada and Mexico or other countries, and immigrant communities often pass pills back and forth among each other through word of mouth advertising.

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Post by It Must Be Love on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 12:54 am

emancipator wrote:
Mochyn du wrote:All Sharapova did was to continue taking something that suddenly became banned.  How or why she chose to use the drug up to January 2016 is irrelevant.  She did not cheat up to December 2015.

I personally think she was unlucky and think that many elite tennis players do whatever it takes to get an edge whilst playing within the rules.

Some of the gloating on here is sickening and perhaps you should take a hard look at your own heroes and wonder whether this could have happened to them maybe?


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Post by Jahu on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 1:21 am

IMBL, hows life going?
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Post by Jahu on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 1:22 am

Emanci, welcome Smile
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Post by Guest on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 1:29 am

Maria Sharapova
Born April 1987 ... a United States resident since 1994 - so she moved to the US when she was 7 years old.

Now she said she was prescribed Meldonium by her family doctor in 2006: "For the past 10 years I have been given a medicine called mildronate (Meldonium) by my family doctor" .   Yet Meldonium has never been legal in the US.  It was banned in the US.  It is not possible for a US based family doctor to prescribe Meldonium.  At the time that her "family doctor" prescribed this drug Sharapova would have been 19 years old.

She said she was prescribed Meldonium: "...(deep breath) I was given this medicine erm by my doctor for several health issues that I was having back in 2006, I erm was getting sick a lot, I was getting the flu, every couple of months I had irregular EKG results, erm as well as indications of diabetes with a family history of diabetes, erm … "  Note that Sharapova places these conditions in the past - there is no claim that there is an on-going problem.

Now Meldonium is a powerful drug specifically: "Meldonium is an anti-ischemic drug that is meant to treat angina, heart attacks, and heart failure".  A doctor can only prescribe it one batch at a time: a 4 to 6 week course.  If it is needed again - a separate assessment and prescription is needed up to three times a year.

Sharapova has said she has been using this powerful heart drug for ten years continuously.

WADA banned it because they were finding it was turning up in more and more elite athletes samples.  The level of use was so high it was matching the number of athletes caught for banned PEDS.  They instigated a study and found it was performance enhancing and the number of elite athletes using it was far greater than the general population were it was allowed and the athletes were of the wrong demographic to be exhibiting such heart disease in such numbers.  Hence they banned it.  Of course they were several years behind the elite athletes and their professional medical advisors.

Now if Sharapova really had the condition that required her to take this drug or an equivalent - she would have said this in the staged press conference, she would have said she had applied for her medical exemption certificate, but she didn't.

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Post by It Must Be Love on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 1:38 am

Jahu wrote:IMBL, hows life going?
Assez bien, how are you Jahu ?
Hope your fantasies haven't been spoiled by this news.

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Post by Guest on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 1:48 am

PS: Cheating and being banned for taking a WADA banned substance are two separate things.  If one is taking a powerful drug for a medical condition one does not have, that is also performance enhancing, then that is cheating.  New drugs are being brought to market all the time.

PPS: One interesting stat: Sharapova wins and earns more through sponsorship per year than the entire WADA budget per year. "The global anti-doping organization has an annual budget of $29.1 million, less the estimated $29.5 million Sharapova earned in prize money and endorsements in 2015, according to Forbes".

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Post by Matchpoint on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 2:25 am

djlovesyou wrote:Unfortunately Nadal's connection (albeit somewhat tenuous, but you know what they say about smoke) with one of the biggest doping scandals in recent time makes it difficult for his name not to be mentioned every time doping in tennis comes up.

(Just a little more detail on Bachelot side. Temp, if this is off topic I'll move it to a new thread. Let me know.)

http://www.huffingtonpost.es/2016/03/10/nada-dopaje_n_9425988.html?utm_hp_ref=spain

Bachelot: "Todo el mundo sabe que la lesión de siete meses de Nadal en 2012 fue debido a un positivo"
"The whole world knows that Nadal's injury of 7 months in 2012 was due to a positive [test result]"

What I don't understand is:

1) We know for a fact that the injuries of players like del porto, Murray and now Federer are real, being backed up by surgeries that in turn necessitated them to take leave from playing. But it's not the same argument for Nadal re his rather long absences simply because he never actually had specific surgery following any of his endless injury claims, right? That's just giving only one inconsistency from Nadal camp. People are expected to raise questions and suspicion when things don't add up.  If he's innocent, he's got nothing to fear. But I'm afraid he and Toni are sounding a little too defensive right now.

2) what does Bachelot have to gain by accusing Nadal of doping?

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Post by summerblues on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 3:57 am

emancipator wrote:...
Good to have you back!

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Post by It Must Be Love on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 4:33 am

Matchpoint wrote:

1) We know for a fact that the injuries of players like del porto, Murray and now Federer are real, being backed up by surgeries that in turn necessitated them to take leave from playing. But it's not the same argument for Nadal re his rather long absences simply because he never actually had specific surgery following any of his endless injury claims, right?
Yes, some great points here, cerebral stuff.
When you see Del Potro, Federer, and Murray it's obvious with their style of play that they'd face injury problems, but with Nadal its very surprising he'd face any long term injury problems.
Watch the Australian Open 2011 when Ferrer beat Nadal, it shows how great Nadal's knee is, it just so happened he had the movement of someone with their legs tied, Nadal clearly knew he was never going to beat the great Ferrer so pretended to have knee problems from 2 games in so he wasn't too embarrassed.

Also a good point on the fact that DelPo, Fed, and Murray proved their case was real because it was 'backed up by surgeries', everyone knows surgery theatres have a live stream so it's impossible to make that up.

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Post by It Must Be Love on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 4:37 am

socal1976 wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:But why, when she is a US citizens is she getting a drug that is NOT prescribed in the US but only in Eastern Europe. Her GP would be prescribed a drug that is commonly used in the US for her 'condition'.

I get my dad to bring me sleep medicine from Iran because it is strong as crap, cheap, and actually works better for me than the over the counter crap in America; not kidding they sell like 1970s valium over the counter there for like pennies. Drugs in America can be ten or hundred times more expensive than anywhere else can cost 50, 100 or more dollars per pill. Hence why many Americans who aren't even Russian/American like Sharapova buy their drugs in Canada. I know money is no object for Sharapova, and again like you I believe she was doing it to cheat. But most Americans have bought dope legal and otherwise from both Canada and Mexico or other countries, and immigrant communities often pass pills back and forth among each other through word of mouth advertising.
What makes me suspicious is that so many Russians were on the drug. Even obese men seem to have lower rates of diabetes than Russian athletes it seems.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 5:34 am

Great posts Nore Staat. It is what I was saying in much more depth and detail. There are curious things that don't add up and questions need to be answered.
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Post by Guest on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 7:55 am

Henman Bill wrote:Good thread. Everyone paced themselves nicely. It's annoying when you go away for 4 hours and come back to 4 pages. Maybe starting to repeat itself a bit though, time to take a breather if there's no new facts or different arguments to add.

Agreed. I think everyone has stated their position and views on this and showing no signs of budging. Just a case of waiting to see what punishment follows from the ITF.

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Post by Born Slippy on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 8:20 am

Sharapova has addressed a couple of points on Facebook:

To My Fans:
I want to reach out to you to share some information, discuss the latest news, and let you know that there have been things that have been reported wrong in the media, and I am determined to fight back.
You have shown me a tremendous outpouring of support, and I’m so grateful for it. But I have also been aware that some – not all, but some – in the media distort, exaggerate and fail to accurately report the facts about what happened.
A report said that I had been warned five times about the upcoming ban on the medicine I was taking. That is not true and it never happened.
That’s a distortion of the actual “communications” which were provided or simply posted onto a webpage.
I make no excuses for not knowing about the ban. I already told you about the December 22, 2015 email I received. Its subject line was “Main Changes to the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme for 2016.” I should have paid more attention to it.
But the other “communications”? They were buried in newsletters, websites, or handouts.
On December 18, I received an email with the subject line “Player News” on it. It contained a newsletter on a website that contained tons of information about travel, upcoming tournaments, rankings, statistics, bulletin board notices, happy birthday wishes, and yes, anti-doping information. On that email, if a player wanted to find the specific facts about medicine added to the anti-doping list, it was necessary to open the “Player News” email, read through about a dozen unrelated links, find the “Player Zone” link, enter a password, enter a username, read a home screen with more than three dozen different links covering multiple topics, find the “2016 Changes to Tennis Anti-Doping Program and Information” link, click on it and then read a page with approximately three dozen more links covering multiple anti-doping matters. Then you had to click the correct link, open it up, scroll down to page two and that’s where you would find a different name for the medication I was taking.
In other words, in order to be aware of this “warning”, you had to open an email with a subject line having nothing to do with anti-doping, click on a webpage, enter a password, enter a username, hunt, click, hunt, click, hunt, click, scroll and read. I guess some in the media can call that a warning. I think most people would call it too hard to find.
There was also a “wallet card” distributed at various tournaments at the beginning of 2016, after the ban went into effect. This document had thousands of words on it, many of them technical, in small print. Should I have studied it? Yes. But if you saw this document (attached), you would know what I mean.
Again, no excuses, but it’s wrong to say I was warned five times.
There was also a headline that said, “4-6 Weeks Normal Treatment for Drug in Maria Sharapova Case.” That headline has been repeated by many reporters who fail to tell their viewers and readers what the rest of the story says. The story quotes the manufacturer of my medicine as saying: “Treatment course can be repeated twice or thrice a year. Only physicians can follow and evaluate patient's health condition and state whether the patient should use meldonium for a longer period of time."
That’s exactly what I did. I didn’t take the medicine every day. I took it the way my doctor recommended I take it and I took it in the low doses recommended.
I’m proud of how I have played the game. I have been honest and upfront. I won’t pretend to be injured so I can hide the truth about my testing.
I look forward to the ITF hearing at which time they will receive my detailed medical records.
I hope I will be allowed to play again. But no matter what, I want you, my fans, to know the truth and have the facts.
- Maria

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 8:57 am

Born Slippy wrote:Sharapova has addressed a couple of points on Facebook:

To My Fans:
I want to reach out to you to share some information, discuss the latest news, and let you know that there have been things that have been reported wrong in the media, and I am determined to fight back.
You have shown me a tremendous outpouring of support, and I’m so grateful for it. But I have also been aware that some – not all, but some – in the media distort, exaggerate and fail to accurately report the facts about what happened.
A report said that I had been warned five times about the upcoming ban on the medicine I was taking. That is not true and it never happened.
That’s a distortion of the actual “communications” which were provided or simply posted onto a webpage.
I make no excuses for not knowing about the ban. I already told you about the December 22, 2015 email I received. Its subject line was “Main Changes to the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme for 2016.” I should have paid more attention to it.
But the other “communications”? They were buried in newsletters, websites, or handouts.
On December 18, I received an email with the subject line “Player News” on it. It contained a newsletter on a website that contained tons of information about travel, upcoming tournaments, rankings, statistics, bulletin board notices, happy birthday wishes, and yes, anti-doping information. On that email, if a player wanted to find the specific facts about medicine added to the anti-doping list, it was necessary to open the “Player News” email, read through about a dozen unrelated links, find the “Player Zone” link, enter a password, enter a username, read a home screen with more than three dozen different links covering multiple topics, find the “2016 Changes to Tennis Anti-Doping Program and Information” link, click on it and then read a page with approximately three dozen more links covering multiple anti-doping matters. Then you had to click the correct link, open it up, scroll down to page two and that’s where you would find a different name for the medication I was taking.
In other words, in order to be aware of this “warning”, you had to open an email with a subject line having nothing to do with anti-doping, click on a webpage, enter a password, enter a username, hunt, click, hunt, click, hunt, click, scroll and read. I guess some in the media can call that a warning. I think most people would call it too hard to find.
There was also a “wallet card” distributed at various tournaments at the beginning of 2016, after the ban went into effect. This document had thousands of words on it, many of them technical, in small print. Should I have studied it? Yes. But if you saw this document (attached), you would know what I mean.
Again, no excuses, but it’s wrong to say I was warned five times.
There was also a headline that said, “4-6 Weeks Normal Treatment for Drug in Maria Sharapova Case.” That headline has been repeated by many reporters who fail to tell their viewers and readers what the rest of the story says. The story quotes the manufacturer of my medicine as saying: “Treatment course can be repeated twice or thrice a year. Only physicians can follow and evaluate patient's health condition and state whether the patient should use meldonium for a longer period of time."
That’s exactly what I did. I didn’t take the medicine every day. I took it the way my doctor recommended I take it and I took it in the low doses recommended.
I’m proud of how I have played the game. I have been honest and upfront. I won’t pretend to be injured so I can hide the truth about my testing.
I look forward to the ITF hearing at which time they will receive my detailed medical records.
I hope I will be allowed to play again. But no matter what, I want you, my fans, to know the truth and have the facts.
- Maria

All very interesting but she fails to cover why a US citizen would be taking a drug not prescribed in her native USA but takes one banned in that country and takes one that is now banned as it is renowned for its nefarious effects.
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Post by bogbrush on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 9:14 am

This is irrelevant, until January 2016 at the earliest there was absolutely no cheating going on.
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Post by Haddie-nuff on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 9:16 am

Legally may be not.. but depending on what one defines as cheating.

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Post by Born Slippy on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 9:24 am

It's not entirely irrelevant as the reason why she was taking the drug in January will decide whether it's a maximum 2 or 4 year ban. It's why she's trying so hard to make clear it wasn't to improve performance.

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Post by Haddie-nuff on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 9:32 am

It still remains that the medication is prescribed for seriously ill patients, ie cardiovascular disease, ischemia, diabetes.. she maintains it was as a preventative because of family history.. an extreme medication for someone as young as she was when she commenced taking it purely as a precaution.... sorry don't buy it. It had very convenient advantageous affects .

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Post by lydian on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 9:35 am

"I’m proud of how I have played the game. I have been honest and upfront. I won’t pretend to be injured so I can hide the truth about my testing."

That's a very non-subtle barb by Sharapova, probably intended back at other players who have criticised her in the wake of these events...

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Post by Haddie-nuff on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 9:38 am

Yes Lydian I noticed it but refrained from comment in view of the reaction I get Wink

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Post by Born Slippy on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 9:41 am

lydian wrote:"I’m proud of how I have played the game. I have been honest and upfront. I won’t pretend to be injured so I can hide the truth about my testing."

That's a very non-subtle barb by Sharapova, probably intended back at other players who have criticised her in the wake of these events...


Isn't it based on what happened with Cilic?

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Post by lydian on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 9:53 am

Maybe...? But who knows....
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Post by Haddie-nuff on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 9:57 am

Well as she is leaving everyone who is anyone with all these questions chin
it shows it was well thought out PR. Lets face it she has had a few days to work on it with her team Wink

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Post by lydian on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 10:03 am

Yes all that hunt, click, hunt stuff has clearly been written for her in defence. The point is she failed a banned drugs test, and has surrounded herself in controversy at taking this drug banned in US - where she was living - for the past 10 years. I have zero sympathy for her...and suspect not many of the players do for her otherwise. In fact has any player come out in support? Also Head's position is weird to me...why say anything at this stage. I wonder what Djokovic - Head's biggest ambassador - makes of it all?
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Post by Born Slippy on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 10:08 am

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/35790677

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Post by lydian on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 10:14 am

Thanks BS, good to see that.
I wonder how this will play out further at Head.
Anyway, I wonder if that FB one-liner above could get her into almost as much hot water as the failed test!? She's kind of admitting silent bans exist...and pointing fingers at who...Nadal, Cilic...even Federer currently?! Shocked
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Post by djlovesyou on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 10:26 am

Born Slippy wrote:It's not entirely irrelevant as the reason why she was taking the drug in January will decide whether it's a maximum 2 or 4 year ban. It's why she's trying so hard to make clear it wasn't to improve performance.

I reckon any ban will see her back in time for perhaps the US Open, maybe a year at the most but it'll be back dated so she misses as little as possible.

Tennis is tough on dopers.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 10:28 am

bogbrush wrote:This is irrelevant, until January 2016 at the earliest there was absolutely no cheating going on.

Is it though? The drug has FINALLY been banned in tennis but has been banned by other sports for much longer. Plus she is a US citizen so what in heavens name is she getting a drug prescribed to her that is banned in the US? Don't you find that at all weird? The US no doubt has another drug used to treat her 'condition' which she should have been on. After all she must have a US doctor. All too odd.
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