Sharapova tests positive for MeldoniumMarch 07, 2016
The Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova has tested positive for the banned substance Meldonium.
The Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (TADP) can confirm the following:
- On 26 January 2016, Ms Sharapova provided an anti-doping sample to the TADP in association with her participation in the 2016 Australian Open.
- That sample was analysed by a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory, which returned a positive for meldonium, which is a prohibited substance under the WADA Code and, therefore also the TADP.
- In accordance with Article 8.1.1 of the TADP, Ms Sharapova was charged on 2 March with an Anti-Doping Rule Violation.
- Ms Sharapova has accepted the finding of meldonium in her sample collected on 26 January.
- As meldonium is a non-specified substance under the WADA (and, therefore, TADP) list of Prohibited Substances and Prohibited Methods, Ms Sharapova will be provisionally suspended with effect from 12 March, pending determination of the case.
Admits use of Meldonium
In a press conference in Los Angeles on March 7, 2016 the tennis player confirmed the positive test and admitted she had used a medicine containing the banned substance.
According to BBC the athlete said the following:
- I did fail the test and take full responsibility for it. For the past 10 years I have been taking a medicine called mildronate by my doctor, my family doctor, and a few days ago after I received the letter from the ITF [International Tennis Federation] I found out it also has another name of meldonium, which I did not know. It is very important for you to understand that for 10 years this medicine was not on the World Anti-Doping Agency banned list and I had been legally taking that medicine for the past 10 years. But on 1 January the rules had changed and meldonium became a prohibited substance, which I had not known, she said according to BBC.
Sharapova received an e-mail informing about changes on the list of banned substances, but she never clicked the link in the e-mail.
Sharapova is the sixth athlete who has tested positive for the banned substance.
The first athlete to test positive for the substance as the Russian cyclist Eduard Vorganov. His sample was collected out-of-competition on January 14. Then two biathlon athletes from Ukraine tested positive. First Olga Abramova who had her collected in Ruhpolding in Germany on January 10. The second was Artem Tyshchenko. his sample was collected in Arber, Germany on January, 23 2016 as an In-Competition test at IBU Cup 6. The Swedish track and field athlete Abeba Aregawi also tested positive for the banned substance. No information has come regarding where or when the sample was collected.
Ice dancer Ekaterina Bobrova also confirmed she had tested positive for the banned substance. Her sample was collected at the European Championships in January.
Sharapova had her sample collected during the Australian Open in Melbourne.
Four Russian tennis players
So far we have registered four Russian tennis players in the Anti-Doping Database. One in 2004, one in 2010, one in 2013 and one in 2015.
In total 90 tennis players has tested positive for a banned substance. 12 of these comes from Spain, nine from USA and eight from Italy.
Meldonium (also known as Mildronate, THP, MET-88, Quaterine) is a substance that optimize the energy metabolism in the heart during a lack of oxygen. The result is that the hart requires less oxygen and heart work a little easier under low oxygen (eg. Myocardial infarction and angina pectoris (angina)). Anti-Doping Agencies or Laboratories do not have enough data to state how the substance affects hearts on healthy persons - like young healthy athletes. A study shows that the anti-ischemic drug demonstrates an increase in endurance performance of athletes, improved rehabilitation after exercise, protection against stress, and enhanced activations of central nervous system (CNS) functions. These are the effects that one could take advantage of in sport, so this drug is likely to be highly sought after as a dopant in accordance with this. One could not ignore the fact that it may also have muscle-building effects. The drug can thus have different mechanisms of the effect on mitochondria and modulating metabolism in the heart is one of these, but here it's probably a lot that is still relatively unknown. It was on the monitoring list of WADA in 2015, and was moved to the Prohibited list in 2016. as there were strong indications relatively widespread use in sport (based on laboratory and analysis data from different WADA-accredited laboratories, especially in endurance and strength sports. Meldonium is currently manufactured and marketed by Grindeks, a pharmaceutical company based in Latvia. It is used in Lithuania and the Russian Federation. It has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States. The brand name in your country can be found here: http://www.drugs.com/international/meldonium.html Sources: Antidoping Norway, WADA, Wikipedia, Drugs.com, Wiley Online Library (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/dta.1788/full)