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 Post subject: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:59 pm 
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Well, I've just read a report on the press conference she's given today about failing a drug test. Now I don't think I'm falling for a story hear, but it really does sound like an innocent mistake. The drug was only banned from 1st Jan this year and is found in common medication available for doctors (I've googled that bit to check).

Her honesty and apparent acceptance of any forthcoming punishment seemed really genuine. I wished more sports starts acted in a similar way.

It must be a nightmare keeping track of drugs that are banned as they can be found in some over the counter medication that we can all purchase without a prescription.

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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:40 pm 
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Supposedly it increases stamina/endurance. A Russian ice skating champion also tested positive for the same substance today, so not sure I buy the diabetes excuse for using it previously, legal doping seems more plausible. Not quite sure how such a well known name in sport doesn't have people around her to comb through those kind of changes in regulations.


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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:44 pm 
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Just to play Devils Advocate for a bit.....It was a common legal PED one of many that a lot of athletes apparently take/took and it was put on the watch list last year before being placed on the banned list for this year.

Maybe her nutritionist or doctor didn't get the memo and therefor failed to take her off it and her version of events today is the more palatable version for those who find the idea of PEDs, legal or otherwise, intolerable.

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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:19 am 
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Asphalt_World wrote:
Well, I've just read a report on the press conference she's given today about failing a drug test. Now I don't think I'm falling for a story hear, but it really does sound like an innocent mistake. The drug was only banned from 1st Jan this year and is found in common medication available for doctors (I've googled that bit to check).

Her honesty and apparent acceptance of any forthcoming punishment seemed really genuine. I wished more sports starts acted in a similar way.

It must be a nightmare keeping track of drugs that are banned as they can be found in some over the counter medication that we can all purchase without a prescription.


I agree with that. I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt as the banned substance is an ingredient of her current medication. As you say it is refreshing to see a sports star accept responsibility and face the consequences. I'd imagine if she was a drug cheat she would have a team of doctors more clued in if you know what I mean.


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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:54 am 
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James14 wrote:
Asphalt_World wrote:
Well, I've just read a report on the press conference she's given today about failing a drug test. Now I don't think I'm falling for a story hear, but it really does sound like an innocent mistake. The drug was only banned from 1st Jan this year and is found in common medication available for doctors (I've googled that bit to check).

Her honesty and apparent acceptance of any forthcoming punishment seemed really genuine. I wished more sports starts acted in a similar way.

It must be a nightmare keeping track of drugs that are banned as they can be found in some over the counter medication that we can all purchase without a prescription.


I agree with that. I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt as the banned substance is an ingredient of her current medication. As you say it is refreshing to see a sports star accept responsibility and face the consequences. I'd imagine if she was a drug cheat she would have a team of doctors more clued in if you know what I mean.


Seems an innocent mistake but there is also another interpretation. That she was using a substance to enhance performance legally and WADA move the goal posts.

When a substance is taken regularly, for 10 years, you have to ask could have done without it and if she had a chronic condition did she tell WADA.

The rules are REALLY clear, 10/10 for owning up but did her team take what she takes seriously. As a coach wouldn't you run an independent test to see what shows up. Isn't that what you pay a management team to do? If that is not policy it should be, if I can think of it professional team coaches and doctors must have considered it.

I think this is symptomatic of athletes complacency about consumption of supplements and medication.
Other sportsmen and women need to take note, whether you condone PED's or not currently sport is looking to go "no tolerance".

2 year ban leading to retirement I suspect.


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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:30 am 
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Leaving her personally aside, I have to wonder if taking something sailing close to the wind has been a un fair (but legal) advantage for 10 years, as do you.

Maybe its time for any professional to present a year on year of ANY medication in the way engines or software is presented and accepted or rejected.

If there is a case like this, the athlete is either in the clear or cheating by definition of exclusion of information


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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:53 am 
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moby wrote:
Leaving her personally aside, I have to wonder if taking something sailing close to the wind has been a un fair (but legal) advantage for 10 years, as do you.

Maybe its time for any professional to present a year on year of ANY medication in the way engines or software is presented and accepted or rejected.

If there is a case like this, the athlete is either in the clear or cheating by definition of exclusion of information



Not sure about what you mean about "Leaving her personally aside", but I don't think she was using it in any calculating way, but more out of habit and her team didn't keep up.

The whole thing may be further complicated by the fact she is is Russian. What is telling is a comment from a Russian Tennis Federation official, "The sportsmen take what they are given by the physiotherapists and by the doctors," he told the TASS news agency.

Athletes today are responsible for their OWN drugs status. I think she gets this and all credit to her for that.


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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:20 pm 
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Option or Prime wrote:
moby wrote:
Leaving her personally aside, I have to wonder if taking something sailing close to the wind has been a un fair (but legal) advantage for 10 years, as do you.

Maybe its time for any professional to present a year on year of ANY medication in the way engines or software is presented and accepted or rejected.

If there is a case like this, the athlete is either in the clear or cheating by definition of exclusion of information



Not sure about what you mean about "Leaving her personally aside", but I don't think she was using it in any calculating way, but more out of habit and her team didn't keep up.

The whole thing may be further complicated by the fact she is is Russian. What is telling is a comment from a Russian Tennis Federation official, "The sportsmen take what they are given by the physiotherapists and by the doctors," he told the TASS news agency.

Athletes today are responsible for their OWN drugs status. I think she gets this and all credit to her for that.



I mean speaking of this sort of thing in general, not this specific case, and not taking past records or observations into account. It,may be you think she would never do it deliberately, which you would never know unless you were very close to her, so assume we are talking of a fictitious person you have never met


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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:14 pm 
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There's no evidence we know of to say that she was using it as a known legal performance advantage. Doctors notes will cover this with WADA.

Lots of endurance athletes take all sorts of things to help the aren't simply natural foods like bananas. All these energy gels improve performance hugely, they help me a lot in cycling. At some point, these may become illegal.

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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:23 pm 
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Asphalt_World wrote:
There's no evidence we know of to say that she was using it as a known legal performance advantage. Doctors notes will cover this with WADA.

Lots of endurance athletes take all sorts of things to help the aren't simply natural foods like bananas. All these energy gels improve performance hugely, they help me a lot in cycling. At some point, these may become illegal.



Whatever, but if she has been taking it for 10 years, she has had the benefit of it for 10 years. It was legal during that time, no problem with that, it was not "cheating" as it was not banned, but still having the benefit of "enhanced performance"


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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 11:29 pm 
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moby wrote:
Asphalt_World wrote:
There's no evidence we know of to say that she was using it as a known legal performance advantage. Doctors notes will cover this with WADA.

Lots of endurance athletes take all sorts of things to help the aren't simply natural foods like bananas. All these energy gels improve performance hugely, they help me a lot in cycling. At some point, these may become illegal.



Whatever, but if she has been taking it for 10 years, she has had the benefit of it for 10 years. It was legal during that time, no problem with that, it was not "cheating" as it was not banned, but still having the benefit of "enhanced performance"


In what way is that at all relevant to the current situation she is in?

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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:34 am 
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moby wrote:
Whatever, but if she has been taking it for 10 years, she has had the benefit of it for 10 years.


That probably goes for just about every top athlete out there. If it's legal, it's legal. Don't really see the relevance here.

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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:49 am 
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Asphalt_World wrote:
moby wrote:
Asphalt_World wrote:
There's no evidence we know of to say that she was using it as a known legal performance advantage. Doctors notes will cover this with WADA.

Lots of endurance athletes take all sorts of things to help the aren't simply natural foods like bananas. All these energy gels improve performance hugely, they help me a lot in cycling. At some point, these may become illegal.



Whatever, but if she has been taking it for 10 years, she has had the benefit of it for 10 years. It was legal during that time, no problem with that, it was not "cheating" as it was not banned, but still having the benefit of "enhanced performance"


In what way is that at all relevant to the current situation she is in?




Its not directly, as I posted above (excuse me pasting my own post)


-Maybe its time for any professional to present a year on year of ANY medication in the way engines or software is presented and accepted or rejected.
If there is a case like this, the athlete is either in the clear or cheating by definition of exclusion of information-

This would mean that on an introduction of products or compounds to the list, the authority could individually notify those concerned, and there would be expectations of traces in the blood tests for some time after.


In her case, she was taking a medication that increases blood oxygen to people recovering from Cancer, and it is not on general sale, or available for general prescription, so she was not walking past a pharmacy one day and called in for something for a headache, but it has happened that people taking medicine for asthma or allergies have suddenly found themselves on the list, which was publicised last September, so its not something that only came to notice last week.


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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:53 am 
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mds wrote:
moby wrote:
Whatever, but if she has been taking it for 10 years, she has had the benefit of it for 10 years.


That probably goes for just about every top athlete out there. If it's legal, it's legal. Don't really see the relevance here.


No, its the shift from legal to not legal. No doubt the Athlete gets lots of "mailshots" from parts of the sport that do not concern them, and its easy to see one that does as just another junk mail and bin it. I sympathise that way.


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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:00 pm 
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Asphalt_World wrote:
There's no evidence we know of to say that she was using it as a known legal performance advantage. Doctors notes will cover this with WADA.

Lots of endurance athletes take all sorts of things to help the aren't simply natural foods like bananas. All these energy gels improve performance hugely, they help me a lot in cycling. At some point, these may become illegal.

Even EPO is medicine, but it became illegal for athletes. The medicine she took isn't even legal in US where she lives. Beside that the mildronate treatment takes few weeks, not 10 years. Ok, she took it for 10 years, but since 2016 it was illegal and she got busted.

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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:55 pm 
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dizlexik wrote:
Asphalt_World wrote:
There's no evidence we know of to say that she was using it as a known legal performance advantage. Doctors notes will cover this with WADA.

Lots of endurance athletes take all sorts of things to help the aren't simply natural foods like bananas. All these energy gels improve performance hugely, they help me a lot in cycling. At some point, these may become illegal.

Even EPO is medicine, but it became illegal for athletes. The medicine she took isn't even legal in US where she lives. Beside that the mildronate treatment takes few weeks, not 10 years. Ok, she took it for 10 years, but since 2016 it was illegal and she got busted.


I know, but that doesn't really move the conversation on.

To the best of our knowledge, she took the medicine in a totally legal manner. Then she and her team messed up since January. She admits this and seems accepting on the punishment to come.

I'm just not sure why some are thinking she benefited for 10 years prior to the drug being banned. She did nothing wrong for 10 years it would appear.

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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 1:28 pm 
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Asphalt_World wrote:
dizlexik wrote:
Asphalt_World wrote:
There's no evidence we know of to say that she was using it as a known legal performance advantage. Doctors notes will cover this with WADA.

Lots of endurance athletes take all sorts of things to help the aren't simply natural foods like bananas. All these energy gels improve performance hugely, they help me a lot in cycling. At some point, these may become illegal.

Even EPO is medicine, but it became illegal for athletes. The medicine she took isn't even legal in US where she lives. Beside that the mildronate treatment takes few weeks, not 10 years. Ok, she took it for 10 years, but since 2016 it was illegal and she got busted.


I know, but that doesn't really move the conversation on.

To the best of our knowledge, she took the medicine in a totally legal manner. Then she and her team messed up since January. She admits this and seems accepting on the punishment to come.

I'm just not sure why some are thinking she benefited for 10 years prior to the drug being banned. She did nothing wrong for 10 years it would appear.

Technically she did nothing wrong before 2016, but I don't think we will ever see any details of her apparent condition that warranted use of her medicine. As said that drug wasn't even approved to use in US where she lives and she still kept taking it. Also keep in mind that the ban of that medicine didn't happen overnight, it was placed on watchlist for 1 year prior to ban. I mean you or me don't read every email, but I guess you read all work related stuff. It's her duty as a professional athlete to know what is she taking. She is just acting to influence WTA, WADA, sponsors etc and general public that it is all honest mistake, but I think she is just cynic liar.

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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 1:35 pm 
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You're entitled to your opinion and at some point I may fully agree with you, but shouldn't we let this story play out a bit before claiming such things? I know I am.

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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:40 pm 
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Asphalt_World wrote:
You're entitled to your opinion and at some point I may fully agree with you, but shouldn't we let this story play out a bit before claiming such things? I know I am.

I read a lot about it yesterday and today. Not enough to make judgement, but enough to post an opinion on this forum. It's not medicine that any doctor would normal prescribe you in USA where she lives, she or her doctor had to specially import it. Remember that facts are now that she faces automatic 4 years suspension. unless she proves that there is 0 fault of her. Her press conference in my opinion is to help her prove that.

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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:56 pm 
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dizlexik wrote:
Asphalt_World wrote:
There's no evidence we know of to say that she was using it as a known legal performance advantage. Doctors notes will cover this with WADA.

Lots of endurance athletes take all sorts of things to help the aren't simply natural foods like bananas. All these energy gels improve performance hugely, they help me a lot in cycling. At some point, these may become illegal.

Even EPO is medicine, but it became illegal for athletes. The medicine she took isn't even legal in US where she lives. Beside that the mildronate treatment takes few weeks, not 10 years. Ok, she took it for 10 years, but since 2016 it was illegal and she got busted.

This is where I feel her argument falls down. If she truly does have angina and low magnesium level, which is what this drug is meant to treat, why is she using a drug that's really only available in eastern Europe when she's been living in the US since she was a teen.

The other part where her story falls apart is that this drug has been on the WADA "watch list" for a couple of years so it shouldn't have been a surprise to her or her camp that it became a banned substance.

Same goes for the skater and a couple of marathoners who've tested positive for it since the turn of the year.

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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:57 pm 
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I agree that her press conference was very well staged and I am sure it was an attempt to lessen the punishment. If we are to assume it was an honest mistake, nobody can blame her for holding that kind of press conference. Flip it around and again, you can't blame her for holding that kind of press conference if she is trying to hide deliberate cheating to lessen her punishment.

As for the drug not being available in her country of residence, I hear all the time about different medical options available all over the world. There are people in the UK who go abroad for surgery, medication or whatever if they feel they are not being given the best chance in their own country.

With her money, sourcing medication from abroad is not going to be hard as she is hardly going to need it for free or at least cheap. Look at how many athletes train in foreign countries because the facilities / climate etc. is better.

Again, I'm not saying she's innocent, I'm kind of playing devils advocate here.

She may well be a 100% cheat, but I will reserve judgement for the time being.

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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 4:02 pm 
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Asphalt_World wrote:
There's no evidence we know of to say that she was using it as a known legal performance advantage. Doctors notes will cover this with WADA.

Lots of endurance athletes take all sorts of things to help the aren't simply natural foods like bananas. All these energy gels improve performance hugely, they help me a lot in cycling. At some point, these may become illegal.

I don't know what kind of gels you're using but aside from some with caffeine they pretty much just contain calories from different types of sugars which is something I can't see any sense in banning.

Personally I can't stand the things, they taste like donkey and hard to open with sweaty hands, but they're a necessary evil once you go beyond the half marathon distance.

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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 4:05 pm 
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RaggedMan wrote:
Asphalt_World wrote:
There's no evidence we know of to say that she was using it as a known legal performance advantage. Doctors notes will cover this with WADA.

Lots of endurance athletes take all sorts of things to help the aren't simply natural foods like bananas. All these energy gels improve performance hugely, they help me a lot in cycling. At some point, these may become illegal.

I don't know what kind of gels you're using but aside from some with caffeine they pretty much just contain calories from different types of sugars which is something I can't see any sense in banning.

Personally I can't stand the things, they taste like donkey and hard to open with sweaty hands, but they're a necessary evil once you go beyond the half marathon distance.


Those made by High5 taste really nice, aside from banana which is dreadful. They have improved so much over the last couple of years and almost slip down like a drink. They've got me out of trouble on a number of occasions.

They also open really easily now as well even when wearing full winter gloves and on the move.

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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 4:14 pm 
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Probably too early to draw any hard and fast conclusions for now, but I'm putting my penny's' worth forward anyway!

It has been stated that she was taking whatever contains the now-banned substance for a medical condition so I'm prepared to concede that it may well have mitigated a performance disadvantage as opposed to gained an advantage.

I do find it a bit of a stretch to accept that her team failed to pick this up what with the amount of notice that was given. That's a not insignificant oversight at best.

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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 4:17 pm 
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Asphalt_World wrote:
RaggedMan wrote:
Asphalt_World wrote:
There's no evidence we know of to say that she was using it as a known legal performance advantage. Doctors notes will cover this with WADA.

Lots of endurance athletes take all sorts of things to help the aren't simply natural foods like bananas. All these energy gels improve performance hugely, they help me a lot in cycling. At some point, these may become illegal.

I don't know what kind of gels you're using but aside from some with caffeine they pretty much just contain calories from different types of sugars which is something I can't see any sense in banning.

Personally I can't stand the things, they taste like donkey and hard to open with sweaty hands, but they're a necessary evil once you go beyond the half marathon distance.


Those made by High5 taste really nice, aside from banana which is dreadful. They have improved so much over the last couple of years and almost slip down like a drink. They've got me out of trouble on a number of occasions.

They also open really easily now as well even when wearing full winter gloves and on the move.

Continuing the off-topic... I've read good things about the High5 products on the internet but last time I looked they were hard to get here. This training cycle I've using Glukos products (don't know if available in Europe) which taste pretty good and their "gel" is actually only a little thicker than a kids fruit drink. The only problem is the density of kcals to volume so a 2 ounce pouch is only 60kcal so it's hard to carry more than a couple at time while running and I need at least 4 for a full marathon.

Racing with this stuff for the first time this Sunday and I'm just going to dump 5-6 in a hand held bottle and top it off with water.

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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:15 am 
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Ok, so this is the list that is sent once a year.

https://wada-main-prod.s3.amazonaws.com ... ons-en.pdf

Surely it's not something that can randomly be send at any time of the year. It's list that is being sent annually. It should be routine check to see what has changed. Note that her medicine is clearly named there.

Also:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-tenni ... sportsNews

Quote:
Others noted it was rare for a doctor treating illness to prescribe a drug that is unavailable in the country where the patient lives.

"Sharapova has been a U.S. resident since early in her career, which does bring in a question of how or why she is using a drug that is not licensed there," said Tom Bassindale, a lecturer in forensic science at Sheffield Hallam University.

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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:38 am 
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When she announced she had failed a drugs test, my initial reaction was that it seemed like an honest cock-up on her part. Something she had been taking for ten years and had only been banned for this year? It isn't a stretch to think she simply didn't know.

But the more I've read about it, about the drug itself, the person prescribing it, the fact it isn't licensed in the U.S., the fact that she has a team to deal with these things, the fact it has been linked to illegal performance gains, the fact it isn't supposed to be taken for an extended period of time, and even the fact that she is seen as keeping her image meticulous to the point of - according to her agent - removing labels from water bottles in night clubs to ensure she isn't photographed drinking a rival brand's water, I find it increasingly hard to believe her story. Of course, we'll never know the full truth, but the more that comes out the more suspicious it all appears.

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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:55 am 
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Jenson's Understeer wrote:
When she announced she had failed a drugs test, my initial reaction was that it seemed like an honest cock-up on her part. Something she had been taking for ten years and had only been banned for this year? It isn't a stretch to think she simply didn't know.

But the more I've read about it, about the drug itself, the person prescribing it, the fact it isn't licensed in the U.S., the fact that she has a team to deal with these things, the fact it has been linked to illegal performance gains, the fact it isn't supposed to be taken for an extended period of time, and even the fact that she is seen as keeping her image meticulous to the point of - according to her agent - removing labels from water bottles in night clubs to ensure she isn't photographed drinking a rival brand's water, I find it increasingly hard to believe her story. Of course, we'll never know the full truth, but the more that comes out the more suspicious it all appears.


I think it is 100% without doubt that she was using this for performance enhancing reasons. The only question is why nobody realised she should stop taking it this year.

I seen someone speaking yesterday who mentioned it was listed under a different name on the banned list than what her doctor was prescribing it as. Not sure how true but may explain the oversight from her doctor.

A lot of people surprised that this doctor is prescribing weird treatments. Athlete's doctors aren't there to look after their health, they're there to look after their performance. His job will be to stay ahead of drug bans, give her all the compounds that either aren't banned or are banned but they can't test for, and generally keep her right on this stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:31 pm 
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Ennis wrote:
Jenson's Understeer wrote:
When she announced she had failed a drugs test, my initial reaction was that it seemed like an honest cock-up on her part. Something she had been taking for ten years and had only been banned for this year? It isn't a stretch to think she simply didn't know.

But the more I've read about it, about the drug itself, the person prescribing it, the fact it isn't licensed in the U.S., the fact that she has a team to deal with these things, the fact it has been linked to illegal performance gains, the fact it isn't supposed to be taken for an extended period of time, and even the fact that she is seen as keeping her image meticulous to the point of - according to her agent - removing labels from water bottles in night clubs to ensure she isn't photographed drinking a rival brand's water, I find it increasingly hard to believe her story. Of course, we'll never know the full truth, but the more that comes out the more suspicious it all appears.


I think it is 100% without doubt that she was using this for performance enhancing reasons. The only question is why nobody realised she should stop taking it this year.

I seen someone speaking yesterday who mentioned it was listed under a different name on the banned list than what her doctor was prescribing it as. Not sure how true but may explain the oversight from her doctor.

A lot of people surprised that this doctor is prescribing weird treatments. Athlete's doctors aren't there to look after their health, they're there to look after their performance. His job will be to stay ahead of drug bans, give her all the compounds that either aren't banned or are banned but they can't test for, and generally keep her right on this stuff.


I think the other name for Meldonium is Mildronate, which might be what was on the label.

I think I am still on her side, since she was clearly up front about what happened, which drug she took, and how long she took the drug. Remember, when the press conference was announced, everyone thought she was retiring because of all the injuries she has suffered in the past two years. Nobody had a clue what was coming. Usually, athletes deflect questions to their attorney or to a players' union, or scream from the rooftops about how they are innocent, but she was open about all of it.

I'm not a cynic, for better or worse. When someone asked why she used a drug that is banned in the country she lives in instead of switching to something legal in the US, I naturally thought about the side effects of drugs, and how they could negatively affect an athlete's performance, which may be why she went through the trouble of importing the drug that she knew had no negative side effects on her body.

When asked why her team did not catch it, I thought about how, for over 10 years, they made zero mistakes, and how unlikely it was that they could keep that up for the entirety of Sharapova's career. Besides, she failed a test at the very first event of the season. It's as if she never even tried to hide it with a masking agent, or look for an alternative that couldn't be detected. If she intended to continue to take that substance secretly, why not try to mask it like track and field athletes do with their steroids?

If it turns out that she took it deliberately to be a world class tennis player, then so be it. I'll be wrong and I'll move on.

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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:48 pm 
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SnakeSVT2003 wrote:
Ennis wrote:
Jenson's Understeer wrote:
When she announced she had failed a drugs test, my initial reaction was that it seemed like an honest cock-up on her part. Something she had been taking for ten years and had only been banned for this year? It isn't a stretch to think she simply didn't know.

But the more I've read about it, about the drug itself, the person prescribing it, the fact it isn't licensed in the U.S., the fact that she has a team to deal with these things, the fact it has been linked to illegal performance gains, the fact it isn't supposed to be taken for an extended period of time, and even the fact that she is seen as keeping her image meticulous to the point of - according to her agent - removing labels from water bottles in night clubs to ensure she isn't photographed drinking a rival brand's water, I find it increasingly hard to believe her story. Of course, we'll never know the full truth, but the more that comes out the more suspicious it all appears.


I think it is 100% without doubt that she was using this for performance enhancing reasons. The only question is why nobody realised she should stop taking it this year.

I seen someone speaking yesterday who mentioned it was listed under a different name on the banned list than what her doctor was prescribing it as. Not sure how true but may explain the oversight from her doctor.

A lot of people surprised that this doctor is prescribing weird treatments. Athlete's doctors aren't there to look after their health, they're there to look after their performance. His job will be to stay ahead of drug bans, give her all the compounds that either aren't banned or are banned but they can't test for, and generally keep her right on this stuff.


I think the other name for Meldonium is Mildronate, which might be what was on the label.

I think I am still on her side, since she was clearly up front about what happened, which drug she took, and how long she took the drug. Remember, when the press conference was announced, everyone thought she was retiring because of all the injuries she has suffered in the past two years. Nobody had a clue what was coming. Usually, athletes deflect questions to their attorney or to a players' union, or scream from the rooftops about how they are innocent, but she was open about all of it.

I'm not a cynic, for better or worse. When someone asked why she used a drug that is banned in the country she lives in instead of switching to something legal in the US, I naturally thought about the side effects of drugs, and how they could negatively affect an athlete's performance, which may be why she went through the trouble of importing the drug that she knew had no negative side effects on her body.

When asked why her team did not catch it, I thought about how, for over 10 years, they made zero mistakes, and how unlikely it was that they could keep that up for the entirety of Sharapova's career. Besides, she failed a test at the very first event of the season. It's as if she never even tried to hide it with a masking agent, or look for an alternative that couldn't be detected. If she intended to continue to take that substance secretly, why not try to mask it like track and field athletes do with their steroids?

If it turns out that she took it deliberately to be a world class tennis player, then so be it. I'll be wrong and I'll move on.



TBH, there is not a problem of he having taken it deliberately. until now it was not against the rules in spirit or word. The problem here is that since the ban was issued in September, no one of a highly specialised team has called it and told her to stop taking it.

Lets face reality here, she does not get up from bed, have a cup of tea and take her tablets off the shelf and drink a class of water with them. They wil all be set out for her, probably in blister packs wit the administer time on. I doubt she even knows what she is / was taking. Although the blame lays ultimately with her, I dont think the fault is with her. She follows a schedule set out by a team that controlled nutrition and medication. She just did what she normally does.
Professions have slipped up here.


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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:13 am 
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Maby she should have given up the fags to improve her blood oxygen levels.... She has a full team who work for her, Doctors, managers , phyisos etc no excuses!


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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:29 pm 
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Option or Prime wrote:
James14 wrote:
Asphalt_World wrote:
Well, I've just read a report on the press conference she's given today about failing a drug test. Now I don't think I'm falling for a story hear, but it really does sound like an innocent mistake. The drug was only banned from 1st Jan this year and is found in common medication available for doctors (I've googled that bit to check).

Her honesty and apparent acceptance of any forthcoming punishment seemed really genuine. I wished more sports starts acted in a similar way.

It must be a nightmare keeping track of drugs that are banned as they can be found in some over the counter medication that we can all purchase without a prescription.


I agree with that. I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt as the banned substance is an ingredient of her current medication. As you say it is refreshing to see a sports star accept responsibility and face the consequences. I'd imagine if she was a drug cheat she would have a team of doctors more clued in if you know what I mean.


Seems an innocent mistake but there is also another interpretation. That she was using a substance to enhance performance legally and WADA move the goal posts.

When a substance is taken regularly, for 10 years, you have to ask could have done without it and if she had a chronic condition did she tell WADA.

The rules are REALLY clear, 10/10 for owning up but did her team take what she takes seriously. As a coach wouldn't you run an independent test to see what shows up. Isn't that what you pay a management team to do? If that is not policy it should be, if I can think of it professional team coaches and doctors must have considered it.

I think this is symptomatic of athletes complacency about consumption of supplements and medication.
Other sportsmen and women need to take note, whether you condone PED's or not currently sport is looking to go "no tolerance".

2 year ban leading to retirement I suspect.


1) It's not an innocent mistake, in any innocent kind of sense, and 2) she's not owning it well, and 3) she's not Russian in any practical sense...

Starting from the back
3) She lives and trains in US since she was 7... For 22 years. That's ALL her tennis carrier and basically all her conscious life. She owns property in US, uses US infrastructure, training facilities and doctors 24x7. Her trainers were some sweden and US nationals if I remember. She's only declare herself Russian on a pay day. Because she's making additional $$$$$$ on being "proud Russian". She's in Russia may be few days a year, for PR tours, and she speaks Russian with accent. Which is natural, considering English is her language.

2) Since she lives in US for last 22 year, and considering in what sorry state Russian medicine is - her doctors are undoubtedly Americans. There is no way in the world they'd prescribe her rare and obscure Russian doping drug, unknown, unlicensed and therefore illegal in US. To treat the condition she doesn't have - she wouldn't be able to perform with any sort of conditions... So she's not "owning it". She piled bunch of lies about her "condition" and doctors prescriptions.

1) She was taking a legal doping - for 10 years, or who know how long really. She was taking the drug which is only known as doping for russian athletes. The drug was put on the bad list in fall of 2015, and now is totally illegal. She kept taking it, and tells lies about her "condition". Which part of this is innocent?

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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:30 am 
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Vlad wrote:

1) It's not an innocent mistake, in any innocent kind of sense, and 2) she's not owning it well, and 3) she's not Russian in any practical sense...

Starting from the back
3) She lives and trains in US since she was 7... For 22 years. That's ALL her tennis carrier and basically all her conscious life. She owns property in US, uses US infrastructure, training facilities and doctors 24x7. Her trainers were some sweden and US nationals if I remember. She's only declare herself Russian on a pay day. Because she's making additional $$$$$$ on being "proud Russian". She's in Russia may be few days a year, for PR tours, and she speaks Russian with accent. Which is natural, considering English is her language.

2) Since she lives in US for last 22 year, and considering in what sorry state Russian medicine is - her doctors are undoubtedly Americans. There is no way in the world they'd prescribe her rare and obscure Russian doping drug, unknown, unlicensed and therefore illegal in US. To treat the condition she doesn't have - she wouldn't be able to perform with any sort of conditions... So she's not "owning it". She piled bunch of lies about her "condition" and doctors prescriptions.

1) She was taking a legal doping - for 10 years, or who know how long really. She was taking the drug which is only known as doping for russian athletes. The drug was put on the bad list in fall of 2015, and now is totally illegal. She kept taking it, and tells lies about her "condition". Which part of this is innocent?


I agree with this. She was taking a performance enhancing drug for its performance enhancing capability.

Coming out and being 'honest' - without really being honest, - was just her way of getting ahead of it. What else could she do? Best thing is to tell a part truth, go in to damage limitation and see how you do.

Again I really don't hold her against her because I think it highlights the idiocy of who is labelled a 'cheat' and who isn't.

Use PEDs, its ok - just stay ahead of the testing curve and make sure you've got the best doctors. Her only mistake was getting a doctor who wasn't on the ball.


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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 4:01 pm 
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colinp wrote:
Maby she should have given up the fags to improve her blood oxygen levels.... She has a full team who work for her, Doctors, managers , phyisos etc no excuses!


For getting caught? Sure. For taking the substance for 10 years? Not really. There is one big excuse: It was a legal substance.

I'm finding myself swaying towards the other side of the argument, but still, the fact is the substance was legal. If she is lying about her health and her reasons for taking the substance, then throw the book at her.

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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 8:49 pm 
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SnakeSVT2003 wrote:
colinp wrote:
Maby she should have given up the fags to improve her blood oxygen levels.... She has a full team who work for her, Doctors, managers , phyisos etc no excuses!


For getting caught? Sure. For taking the substance for 10 years? Not really. There is one big excuse: It was a legal substance.

I'm finding myself swaying towards the other side of the argument, but still, the fact is the substance was legal. If she is lying about her health and her reasons for taking the substance, then throw the book at her.


Actually, there is another caveat about those 10 years of use. I'm not a lawyer, but from quick search it is illegal in US to import foreign drugs, unapproved by FDA. Nobody goes after people importing drugs for personal use, but technically - it's illegal act. Since Sharapova lives and trains in US - she'd need to import those M-drugs to inject them. And by act of importing them she was doing illegal thing. For 10 years by her own words. So she was taking legal doping (that got on the black list a year ago), but she was importing it illegally, if that makes any sense.
http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/Transparenc ... 194904.htm

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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:21 pm 
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Vlad wrote:
SnakeSVT2003 wrote:
colinp wrote:
Maby she should have given up the fags to improve her blood oxygen levels.... She has a full team who work for her, Doctors, managers , phyisos etc no excuses!


For getting caught? Sure. For taking the substance for 10 years? Not really. There is one big excuse: It was a legal substance.

I'm finding myself swaying towards the other side of the argument, but still, the fact is the substance was legal. If she is lying about her health and her reasons for taking the substance, then throw the book at her.


Actually, there is another caveat about those 10 years of use. I'm not a lawyer, but from quick search it is illegal in US to import foreign drugs, unapproved by FDA. Nobody goes after people importing drugs for personal use, but technically - it's illegal act. Since Sharapova lives and trains in US - she'd need to import those M-drugs to inject them. And by act of importing them she was doing illegal thing. For 10 years by her own words. So she was taking legal doping (that got on the black list a year ago), but she was importing it illegally, if that makes any sense.
http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/Transparenc ... 194904.htm


There are two categories of patients that can import non FDA-approved drugs into the US, but I doubt she falls into either category.

We'll have to wait and see if the FDA decides to investigate, and if it opens a can of worms that leads to other athletes getting caught, like in 2012, when 3 MLB players failed drug tests, and were later linked to an anti-aging clinic in Florida, leading to an investigation of the clinic in 2013 that ended up bringing down 14 other baseball players.

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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:28 pm 
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I think we should forget about pre January this year, as immoral is not illegal. That aside, moral or not, since then she has been illegal. No 2 ways about it.


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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:44 am 
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moby wrote:
I think we should forget about pre January this year, as immoral is not illegal. That aside, moral or not, since then she has been illegal. No 2 ways about it.

Well it wasn't illegal, but if before January she was taking it to enhance performance, she deserves maximum 4 years ban for doing it in 2016.

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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:30 am 
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dizlexik wrote:
moby wrote:
I think we should forget about pre January this year, as immoral is not illegal. That aside, moral or not, since then she has been illegal. No 2 ways about it.

Well it wasn't illegal, but if before January she was taking it to enhance performance, she deserves maximum 4 years ban for doing it in 2016.


Why? I don't see the relevance of what she was taking it as beforehand in relation to ban time. I get from a PR perspective sports don't want to acknowledge that every top level athlete is taking performance enhancers... but they're all taking 'legal' or 'undetectable' substances.


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 Post subject: Re: Maria Sharapova
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:08 pm 
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Ennis wrote:
dizlexik wrote:
moby wrote:
I think we should forget about pre January this year, as immoral is not illegal. That aside, moral or not, since then she has been illegal. No 2 ways about it.

Well it wasn't illegal, but if before January she was taking it to enhance performance, she deserves maximum 4 years ban for doing it in 2016.


Why? I don't see the relevance of what she was taking it as beforehand in relation to ban time. I get from a PR perspective sports don't want to acknowledge that every top level athlete is taking performance enhancers... but they're all taking 'legal' or 'undetectable' substances.


One of my first thoughts when I read this was "If Sharapova was taking this to help her train more and she didn't look obviously strong or muscular, what on earth is Serena Williams taking?"

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