Maria Sharapova, others could avoid meldonium sanctions

Maria Sharapova announces she failed a doping test at the Australian Open during March presser.ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Maria Sharapova announces she failed a doping test at the Australian Open during March presser.

The chief obstacle on Maria Sharapova’s road to Rio may have been cleared away Tuesday.

The Russian tennis star – one of 172 athletes to test positive for meldonium since Jan. 1 – has seen her Olympic plans put on ice while she awaits a possible competition ban that could disqualify her from this summer’s Olympics in Brazil.

But the World Anti-Doping Agency on Tuesday acknowledged a lack of scientific evidence about how long meldonium stays in a person’s system. WADA’s announcement gives athletes and their lawyers a strong argument against sanctions, since the heart medication was only banned on Jan. 1.


Maria Sharapova hopes to compete for Russia at the Summer Olympics in Rio.Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Maria Sharapova hopes to compete for Russia at the Summer Olympics in Rio.

In a notice, WADA said hearing panels “might justifiably find” that the athletes found in violation “could not reasonably have known” that they were taking a drug before Jan. 1 that “would still be in his or her body after” that date.

“In these circumstances, WADA considers that there may be grounds for no fault or negligence on the part of the athlete,” the Montreal-based agency said in its notice.

Sharapova, the most prominent figure caught with the drug, tested positive in January at the Australian Open. The 28-year-old tennis star has been provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Federation while her legal team prepares for a disciplinary hearing.

Sponsors ditched the five-time Grand Slam winner in a hurry in March after she announced the positive test, explaining that she had been taking meldonium for a decade for medical reasons and hadn’t noticed it was banned. A large percentage of the positive cases involve Russians and Eastern Europeans who use the Latvian-made heart drug. Anti-doping agencies believe the drug improves blood flow, giving athletes an endurance edge for training and competing.



WADA’s announcement had its leaders on the defensive. The explosion of positive tests has reportedly led teams and athletes in a wide range of sports to withdraw from competitions and face bans from the national doping agencies under WADA’s umbrella.

WADA claimed that the agency is not giving amnesty to the athletes who have tested positive.

“In no way does this serve as an ‘amnesty’ for athletes that are asserted to have committed an anti-doping rule violation,” WADA spokesman Ben Nichols told The Associated Press. “Rather, it serves as guidance for how anti-doping organizations should assess the particular circumstances of each individual case under their jurisdiction.”

maria sharapova ,
tennis ,

Source link


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
NBC tries to promote karate for 2020 Olympics, shows taekwondo
Ala. lawyer busted trafficking methamphetamine, 369 grams seized
Former Cuomo aide killed in crash on Long Island Expressway
Critics rip Cuomo plan that combines tax and wage subsidies
Oil prices fall as analysts say August price rally has been overblown
Asian shares slip, dollar stands tall on Fed hike bets
Japan Inc unenthused over Abe's stimulus, BOJ easing: Reuters poll
Facebook can climb more than 20 percent on ad growth: Barron's
Singapore Luxury Real Estate: Back to a Buyer's Market
Sail The Seven Seas With Ease In The Oyster 625 Bandido
The Montblanc Meisterstück Is On Point
The Wining Wines of the 2015 En Primeur Campaign
Can’t believe you ate the whole thing? Blame ‘false hunger’
Lead in NYC tap water is a danger despite quality system
Seattle toddler speaks first words after nearly drowning
Humans first infected Neanderthals with herpes, tuberculosis
Barbra Streisand Tells Apple to Fix Siri's Pronunciation of Last Name
Watch Metallica Debut Punishing 'Hardwired' Live at Minneapolis Concert
Matt Roberts, Original 3 Doors Down Guitarist, Dead at 38
Frank Ocean Reflects on Creating 'Blonde' in Tumblr Posts
Obama wants more choices for consumers using cable boxes
Sanders preaches economic equality at the Vatican
Senator calls out CUNY boss Milliken on campus anti-Semitism
Angry campaign making strange bedfellows out of bedfellows
Basketball Football Other Sports
SEE IT: Softball player pulls off behind-the-back bunt
Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s office raided in Moscow
Isola: Phil Jackson no longer the cool, calm man on bench
Mobile Social
How carbon nanotubes could give us faster processors and longer battery life
Facebook’s new teens-only app Lifestage turns bios into video profiles
Looklive helps men shop by mimicking celebs’ styles