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Jun 21, 2015
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jmdirt said:
If she has medical records to support that she has been taking this for 10 years, shouldn't she be grandmothered in? Even if she didn't "need" it, her body might not know how to function correctly without it now.

EDIT: I'm being both serious and tongue-in-cheek.
She'd have to apply for a TUE, and I would hope that it would be denied based on the medical issues she described in her press conference.
 
May 26, 2010
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King Boonen said:
gooner said:
King Boonen said:
gooner said:
That's a highly misleading statement.

The former No. 1 said she had taken meldonium, a heart medicine which improves blood flow and is little-known in the U.S., for a decade following various health problems including regular sicknesses, early signs of diabetes and "irregular" results from echocardiography exams.

"I was first given the substance back in 2006. I had several health issues going on at the time," she said. Sharapova didn't specify whether she had used it constantly since then.
"Depending on the patient's health condition, treatment course of meldonium preparations may vary from four to six weeks. Treatment course can be repeated twice or thrice a year," the company said in an emailed statement. "Only physicians can follow and evaluate patient's health condition and state whether the patient should use meldonium for a longer period of time."
But the 4-6 weeks is still referring to normal situations. Yeah in more severe cases, it "can" be used for longer on medical supervision.

Yet Sharapova hasn't detailed any this.

Funny coincidence it's Russian athletes have a need for it long-term and Mutko expects many more. He even says they are using this for "recovery".
Why should she share her medical details in a press conference? Why did you omit the part, directly after the discussion on a normal treatment course, that states that repeat treatment could be required 2-3 times a year, clearly indicating that multiple treatments are not uncommon?

You posted the article and editorialised it with a single, highly misleading sentence. Did you read the article?

An athlete with heart problems being at the top of her sport for 10 years! What are the chances?
 
Feb 3, 2013
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Benotti69

An athlete with heart problems being at the top of her sport for 10 years! What are the chances?
She is probably asthmatic too, the poor thing.

Just another feel good story, showing that if you have the right mentality you can overcome anything in your life. What a rolemodel
 
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The Carrot said:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tennis/2016/03/08/why-maria-sharapova-does-not-deserve-sympathy/

Some good points here, I like this bit ": So Sharapova’s camp are telling us that as an 18-year-old prodigy she was cursed with abnormal heart readings, low magnesium, immune deficiencies and diabetes indicators, yet still emerged to be a five-time Grand Slam champion and the world’s richest woman athlete. Some achievement, with a body so widely compromised."

Athletes are an afflicted lot aren't they? :rolleyes:
yup...got to be ill to be good...those medicines don't prescribe themselves..............
 
Jun 21, 2015
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In terms of how this plays out, I see 2 key aspects, one regulatory and the other reputational.

From a regulatory point of view, this will play out in the usual way.. AAF, ADRV, mitigating factors argued at ITF tribunal (and then presumably CAS), followed by a period of sanction, which I expect to be 1-2 years, depending on how effective the attack on her medical evidence is... In a post IAAF/Russian scandal world, and after the ITFs own betting woes, a perception of leniency would be bad for them, IMO, so i would not sue shocked to see ITF go for 2 years and Sharapova try to get it reduced at CAS.

The reputational aspect is different. This will come down to whether the public and sponsors believe she had a valid medical reason to take a potentially performance enhancing drug, whether legal or not at the time of ingestion, and whether it's plausible that she's using Eastern European MDs for her primary health care. Since most people will lack the medical knowledge to make accurate conjectures with regard to the former, it's going to come down to the quality of the press reporting, vs. the effectiveness of her PR machine.
 
Apr 14, 2015
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Anyone else think there has to be something else behind this? As other posters have said top sport starts don't "out" themselves. My feeling is that she was popped for something else additionally but has bargained it down to this. It's not a "real" PED so it wont hurt her image too much or lead to much of a suspension, and the WTA get to parade a big name bust (conviniently a Russian to boot.) Everybody wins!
 
My favourite posts are the "why is she being targeted? What's really going on?" conspiratorial ones, when Sharapova has already given a completely credible explanation as to why she was popped. She was taking the drug long term, then it was banned and she was a big enough idiot not to read the WADA updates and then she got popped at the first big tournament after the ban came in. We don't need to get the tinfoil hats out when stupidity provides a consistent and reasonable explanation.

Now this is a different issue from whether her explanation for being on the substance long term in the first place is credible. On the face of it, it isn't credible. But why it was her who was caught? She had something easily detectable in her system when she waltzed into an IC test. No elaborate conspiracies involved.
 
May 26, 2010
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Zinoviev Letter said:
My favourite posts are the "why is she being targeted? What's really going on?" conspiratorial ones, when Sharapova has already given a completely credible explanation as to why she was popped. She was taking the drug long term, then it was banned and she was a big enough idiot not to read the WADA updates and then she got popped at the first big tournament after the ban came in. We don't need to get the tinfoil hats out when stupidity provides a consistent and reasonable explanation.

Now this is a different issue from whether her explanation for being on the substance long term in the first place is credible. On the face of it, it isn't credible. But why it was her who was caught? She had something easily detectable in her system when she waltzed into an IC test. No elaborate conspiracies involved.
A credible explanation? Where?

She says she didn't know the name of the medicine and it is written on the box!

She claims she is taking it since 2006. But clinical trials in 2008.

Claims to have not read WADA/RUSADA email! I guess she also missed the emails from Ferrari, Armani, and all those other sponsors wanting give her millions...

Sorry Sharapova has no credibility. No tinfoil hat needed. Just read her statements.

If Sharapova is using it for nearly 10 years, what other athletes are on it? Lots is my guess. So why only her peepee positive and not others?
 
It's gonna be hilarious during the opening day of Wimbledon how they gloss over this.

"There was some bad news earlier in the year when sharapova tested positive. She protests her innocence. Anyway let's focus on the good news, Brits reached the semi finals in Australia, rafa is back, and we have Wimbledon hooray" (last mention of sharapova for the whole tournament)
 
Jun 30, 2012
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It's the idiocy of her, her coach and her doctor that floors me. That she's narcissistic, selfish and morally bankrupt comes as no surprise at all, but how is it that she, and everyone in her doping circle is so mind-bogglingly stupid?
 
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Benotti69 said:
A credible explanation? Where?

She says she didn't know the name of the medicine and it is written on the box!

She claims she is taking it since 2006. But clinical trials in 2008.

Claims to have not read WADA/RUSADA email! I guess she also missed the emails from Ferrari, Armani, and all those other sponsors wanting give her millions...

Sorry Sharapova has no credibility. No tinfoil hat needed. Just read her statements.

If Sharapova is using it for nearly 10 years, what other athletes are on it? Lots is my guess. So why only her peepee positive and not others?
I love this stuff.

She walked into an IC test with an easily detectable substance in her system. She did that because she's an idiot. IC tests are IQ tests. She failed one.

What's the alternative theory? That for some reason the tennis authorities decided to create a huge scandal around the most marketable star in the women's side of the sport for reasons unknown? Because the tennis authorities have joined an international war against Russian sport and are willing to create the most damaging scandal in the recent history of their own sport in order to do their bit for the patriotic struggle?

Sharapova is not someone anyone involved in promoting tennis would choose as a sacrificial lamb. She's one of the half dozen least likely people imaginable to be chosen for such a role. The tennis authorities approach to protecting the image of their sport involves, among other things, very few OOC tests and an assumption that any remotely professional athlete has the basic common sense not to walk into an IC test glowing. Sharapova proved that assumption wrong.

That the being an idiot and tripping the wire part of her story is credible in no way implies that her explanations for why she was on the substance in the first place are credible.
 
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arcus said:
According to Lindsay Davenport, Sharapova did disclose Meldonium on the doping-control forms, including her form at the Aus Open...
Strong evidence for the idiot explanation for why she got caught. She walked into an IC test glowing because she didn't realise the substance had been banned. Of course, that doesn't mean that her explanation for why she was taking it in the first place passes the smell test.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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Her statement that she's been taking it for 10+ years.
Who came up with that? Might not have been a clever statement after all.
The Latvian manufacturer has come out saying that a normal treatment takes between 4-6 weeks max.
 
May 14, 2010
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Sharapova doping: 'Sponsors will exit and be wary of Russians'

Companies should avoid endorsing Russian athletes at all costs after high profile tennis star Maria Sharapova admitted to using a banned substance, a sports sponsorship expert warns.

Sharapova is the highest profile tennis player to test positive for a banned substance. Although based in Florida, she is the latest in a string of Russians to be implicated in doping scandals in recent months, placing Russia's reputation in international sport in “terrible jeopardy”.
On Monday, Olympic figure skater Ekaterina Bobrova confessed to taking meldonium while Russia's track and field team have been banned from competing in the Rio Olympic Games after revelations of widespread doping emerged last year.

“This isn't so much a bad issue for tennis – it's a bad issue for Russia,” McKay says. “On top of their track and field athletes, there's a cyclist and an ice skater who have returned positive tests. There's a lot being exposed about a widespread, systematic doping programme in Russia.
“We would be advising people now, if they were looking to sponsor any Russian athlete to tread with extreme caution. I would find it really hard to make the case. I would say this to existing sponsors as well. [This will have a] tremendous commercial impact on western sponsors.”

It is not inconceivable that Sharapova may recover from the fallout and make a comeback to the sport. However, this is yet another body blow to Russia, only two-and-a-half years away from hosting the FIFA World Cup.
 
May 14, 2010
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The whole thing stinks to high heaven. If she was taking the drug for ~ten years for therapeutic reasons, she should receive a retroactive therapeutic use exemption, obviously. Meanwhile, Serena Williams is so kitted out with HGH and various steroids that she is practically, for all intents and purposes, a man - obvious to even the naive eye.
 
Now something that clearly was "targeting the Russians" was putting Meldonium on the banned list in the first place. It's a substance that seems to be as easy to get hold of as sweets in Russia, but which doesn't appear to be widely used elsewhere - eg the 2015 study that showed 724 out of 4,316 Russian athletes with it in their system.

It seems hard to argue that putting it on the banned list represents an *unfair* targeting of the Russians however.
 
May 14, 2010
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Zinoviev Letter said:
Now something that clearly was "targeting the Russians" was putting Meldonium on the banned list in the first place. It's a substance that seems to be as easy to get hold of as sweets in Russia, but which doesn't appear to be widely used elsewhere - eg the 2015 study that showed 724 out of 4,316 Russian athletes with it in their system.

It seems hard to argue that putting it on the banned list represents an *unfair* targeting of the Russians however.
A lot here just does not add up. First of all, why is the drug specific to Russian athletes? Perhaps because it was developed in the Soviet Union for use by soldiers in the Afghanistan war.

Why would a multi-million dollar athlete, competing in a heavily doped sport, walk right into a drug control with an easily detectable, banned drug in her system? For that matter, why would WADA wait for ten years to ban the drug, if it's so performance enhancing? And, if the drug was newly banned but Sharapova relied on it for therapeutic purposes, why would she not simply apply for a TUE? The worst they could say was "no".

And, lastly, why would ITF sacrifice one of its main attractions and arguably tarnish its own sport for political purposes?

I think I have a possible answer to this last one: on this earth there are things and concerns and threats far more powerful than the ITF.
 
Re: Re:

Maxiton said:
A lot here just does not add up. First of all, why is the drug specific to Russian athletes? Perhaps because it was developed in the Soviet Union for use by soldiers in the Afghanistan war.

Why would a multi-million dollar athlete, competing in a heavily doped sport, walk right into a drug control with an easily detectable, banned drug in her system? For that matter, why would WADA wait for ten years to ban the drug, if it's so performance enhancing? And, if the drug was newly banned but Sharapova relied on it for therapeutic purposes, why would she not simply apply for a TUE? The worst they could say was "no".

And, lastly, why would ITF sacrifice one of its main attractions and arguably tarnish its own sport for political purposes?

I think I have a possible answer to this last one: on this earth there are things and concerns and threats far more powerful than the ITF.
The drug is specific to Russian athletes because (a) Russia is by far the largest of only three countries where it can be prescribed by a doctor and (b) because it's history as a drug developed in Russia led to it being widely and cheaply available there at an early stage and becoming ingrained in local sports culture.

Most of your other questions have the same answer: Sharapova failed an IQ test. She didn't realise that a drug she was already using had been banned because she was negligent in keeping on top of WADA communications. Therefore she walked into an IC test still glowing and, it appears, even disclosed in the paperwork that she was using the substance. If reports of the last part turn out to be accurate, there really is no other explanation necessary or even likely. Nobody is stupid enough to disclose that they are a banned substance if they understand that the substance is banned. This also explains why she hadn't applied for a TUE. You don't apply for an exemption for something you don't think you need an exemption for.

WADA took ten years to ban the substance because it wasn't clear that the substance actually did enhance performance. When they did look into it and it turned out that nearly one in five Russian athletes had it in their system when tested in 2015, they banned it.

We do not need to conjure dark imaginary super-powerful forces twisting the arm of the tennis authorities to bring down Russians, even though bringing down one of their biggest stars is the last thing those authorities would want to do. All we need to do is accept a simple, credible, explanation for Sharapova's positive test that is entirely in keeping with her behaviour. Which is to say, she's an idiot and she demonstrated that by walking into an IC test still glowing, disclosing on the paperwork that she's on a banned substance and never applying for a TUE.
 
Jul 10, 2010
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Maxiton said:
A lot here just does not add up. First of all, why is the drug specific to Russian athletes? Perhaps because it was developed in the Soviet Union for use by soldiers in the Afghanistan war.

Why would a multi-million dollar athlete, competing in a heavily doped sport, walk right into a drug control with an easily detectable, banned drug in her system? For that matter, why would WADA wait for ten years to ban the drug, if it's so performance enhancing? And, if the drug was newly banned but Sharapova relied on it for therapeutic purposes, why would she not simply apply for a TUE? The worst they could say was "no".

And, lastly, why would ITF sacrifice one of its main attractions and arguably tarnish its own sport for political purposes?

I think I have a possible answer to this last one: on this earth there are things and concerns and threats far more powerful than the ITF.
Why would an athlete with a fully tooled up support staff walk into a test glowing ?

Break it down - why would she continue to use a banned drug ? Because she (and more importantly her team) had been conditioned not to bother caring.

Why didn't she (and they) care ? Because there were no sanctions.

Why were there no sanctions surely the ITF have sanctions against "dopers"? Well they do but the testing and implementation is probably corrupted. No press release on any positives. The most feeble excuse, if they even bother to have a hearing, is accepted as justified reason for consumption and hey presto the most marketable female asset the ITF have is bullet proof.

So WADA came up with a new list - just what has changed at the ITF from Sharipova's point of view. This is the sport with bent umpires betting on matches they fix and they get a silent ban. Then look at some of the male stars. Is she criminal number one ?

Of course she did not intend to get caught and from what seems to be coming out, the problem was WADA went looking for her and administered the test not the ITF and once they had their mitts on her positive, the ITF were powerless to close down the story.

WADA may well be running a "let's go catch us some pesky Ruskies" program to fit in with some wider narrative, but keeping it with Sharipova, the story is quite contained .

[And talking of silent bans, did we ever find out why the single source of information on Femke's brothers EPO ban was some monthly newsletter and it did not feature on the UCI pdf ? ] So the ITF being able to keep the lid on a variety of its stars doping results would seem to be the only rational driving motive for why the support team of the most wealthy female sports star on the planet allowed her not to see the change in status of a known performance enhancing drug as a threat that required a change in practice.
 

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