Know Everything About Meldonium—The Drug That Got Sharapova Banned
The tennis world was shocked on Monday when Five-time Grand Slam tennis champion, Maria Sharapova, admitted to using performance enhancement drug Meldonium that was banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as of January 1, 2015.
For all the curious minds out there, here is the much needed dope on the drug and why it has been banned:
- Meldonium is used in Latvia and other eastern European countries to treat serious heart problems and aid the circulation of oxygen.
- Meldonium, also known as Mildronate, was developed at the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis to help prevent Ischemia, which is a vascular disease that can lead to tissue death.
- The drug improves the users’ mood and allows them to become more active. It increases blood flow, which improves exercise capacity in athletes.
- Sharapova’s family doctor had been giving her Mildronate, which is also called Meldonium, for 10 years after she frequently became sick, had irregular EKG results, a magnesium deficiency and a family history of diabetes.
- It is listed by WADA among its prohibited metabolic modulators, along with insulin, and some researchers say it can also help recovery. It is not approved in the United States but is available in Russia, Latvia and other countries in that region.
- The decision to add Meldonium to the banned list was approved on 16 September, 2015, and it came into effect on 1 January, 2016.
- A memo was sent out to athletes by Russia’s anti-doping agency last September informing them of the decision to ban its use but Sharapova failed to go through it.
- Apart from Sharapova, Russian professional bicyclist Eduard Vorganov and ice dancer Ekaterina Bobrova; Ukrainian biathletes Artem Tyshchenko and Olga Abramova; and Ethopian marathon runners Endeshaw Negesse along with two others all tested positive for the same drug.
Watch Sharapova announcing failed drug test at the press conference held on 7 March, 2015 at Los Angeles:
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