For a few days there has been a big to do about Maria Sharapova testing positive at the Australian Open for a performance enhancing drug called meldonium.
My question is, ‘and so what’?
Has tennis ever shown any resolve in seriously testing their athletes in-spite of mind boggling performances in some cases comparable to EPO cases Lance Armstrong and “his friend” Floyd Landis? Of course not! The Scott Andy Murray illustrates it in clear terms; “I think all sports can do more,” he said. “It’s better than it was a few years ago, last year I got tested a lot but I’ve been tested twice so far this year, three months into the year, which is clearly not enough.”
From Dec 3 all the way through to Dec 29 2015, tennis players were alerted to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s updated prohibited list on multiple occasions. World Anti-Doping Agency founding president Dick Pound, said: “All the tennis players were given notification of it and she has a medical team somewhere. That is reckless beyond description.”
Now Maria Sharapova fails a drug test at the Australian Open 2016 for meldonium a drug she admitted using for at least 10 years while residing in the USA and that according to a spokesman from The United States Food and Drug Administration: “It is illegal for consumers to import unapproved drugs into the US.” Interesting to say the least.
A true test to the I.T.F. (International Tennis Federation) resolve is, if they ban Maria Sharapova for this 2016 positive test; will they strip Maria Sharapova from all of her Grand Slam wins for her past 10 year PED use? Or will they strip her of the runner-up title and prize-money at the Australian Open 2016 only?
Although meldonium was banned just recently, Maria Sharapova admitted using it (cheating) for 10 years!
In tennis there is a different standard, the WADA who claims to be the real “PED’s watch dog” after much fanfare in 2009 backed out of the “unannounced out of competition testing”. Why? After pressure mounted from players like Raphael Nadal ‘I want tennis to be as clean as possible, of course. This is crystal clear. But there’s room for maneuvering. You see, there’s a certain type of leeway.’ (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/frenchopen/5410931/French-Open-2009-Rafael-Nadal-is-no-exception-to-the-drug-testing-rules.html) and Andy Murray who in 2009 believed the revised regulations were too strict and called for a ‘more realistic and practical way’ of testing.
‘These new rules are so draconian that it makes it almost impossible to live a normal life,’ Andy Murray.
‘I may miss a flight or a flight could be delayed, yet I have to let Wada know exactly where I will be, even when I am resting. They even turned up at my hotel in Miami while I was on holiday.’ Andy Murray.
After this and the Serena Williams ‘panic room incident’, when she ‘mistook’ a WADA drug tester for a dangerous intruder in her Los Angeles mansion and shut herself into her panic room, the WADA random tests on tennis players just vanished.
Maria Sharapova was caught and her ‘heart and diabetics’ are the culprits, in the Sidney Olympics 2000 the WADA chairman Dick Pound said; ‘It’s surprising how much of them are taking medicines,” you look at it and say, ‘How can all the finest athletes on the face of the earth be so sick?’
‘We suspect some of the medical reasons are faked,’ said Jacques Rogge, vice chairman of the IOC medical commission. ‘There are people misusing a number of substances. But you have to trust the signatures of the team doctor. They are registered physicians.’
Sixteen years later has anything changed? So what if Maria Sharapova was caught at the Australian Open 2016? In a couple weeks a whole series of signed medical affidavits will prove that Maria is innocent, gravely ill and meldonium was a must to save her life!
Anyway why make such a fuss over Maria when nobody cares about the Mononucleosis epidemic in tennis?
Note: Oh, oh! The can of warms is open! 17 March 2016, Yuliya Efimova Fails Doping Test For Meldonium; Russia Confirms Temporary Suspension” Meldonium has been said to have been taken by Russian athletes as much as Vitamin C, according Olympic figure skating champion Evgeni Plushenko on the Russian-24 broadcast network”