Maria Sharapova, the International Tennis Star and Five-time Grand Slam Champion was tested positive for taking meldonium during the drug test at the Australian Open. Because of that, the International Tennis Federation had banned her from playing and had put her in a provisional suspension, which starts at March 12 this year.
The 28-year old Russian Tennis Star has admitted using meldonium as a medication for her heart condition and diabetes, a drug banned by ITF and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) last January 1 due to its performance-enhancing capabilities. Because of this, players from various sports are using the mentioned drug. The drug was made and is widely available in Latvia as an over-the-counter, low-cost medicine but is not licensed for use in the U.S. and other European countries.
As prescribed by her doctor, Sharapova had said in reports that she had been using the drug because of her abnormal electrocardiogram readings and diabetes indicators. This is also accompanied by various tests whether the drug works on her or not. If proven true, Sharapova can apply for a retroactive therapeutic use exemption (TUE), which allows her to continue drug use without getting penalized for violation.
However, it is saddening to know that because of that so-called ‘positive on drugs’ issue, Nike was both surprised and saddened by the news, thereby forcing them to remove Sharapova as their endorser. What adds to the sad news is that we won’t see the tennis star play for a year or more, depending on the ITF’s decision.