LONDON: United Nations has suspended tennis star Maria Sharapova as their goodwill ambassador after admitting she was tested positive for the banned substance meldonium at this year’s Australian Open.
Maria Sharapova became UN goodwill ambassador in February 2007. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has adjourned the Russian player until the result of the inquiry into her case is known.
Sharapova’s effort with the UN fixated mostly on serving survivors of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
The UNDP remains grateful to Maria Sharapova for her support of our work, especially around the Chernobyl nuclear disaster recovery, said a spokesperson.
However, in light of Ms Sharapova’s recent announcement, we last week suspended her role as a goodwill ambassador and any planned activities while the investigation continues.
UN goodwill ambassadors are chosen on the foundation that they are “persons of integrity” who “possess the personality and dignity required for such high-level representative capacity”.
The famous Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova held a press conference where she stated that she has failed a drug test at the Australian Open due to a medicine she has been taking for 10 years for health issues.
I know that with this I face consequences and I don’t want to end my career this way. I really hope that I will be given another chance to play this game, Sharapova told a news conference in a downtown Los Angeles hotel.
Sharapova stated that her family doctor had been giving her mildronate for 10 years which is also called meldonium after she regularly became sick, had unbalanced EKG fallouts, a magnesium insufficiency and a family history of diabetes.
It is very important for you to understand that for 10 years this medicine was not on Wada’s banned list and I had been legally taking the medicine. But on January the first, the rules have changed and meldonium became a prohibited substance. The World Anti-Doping Agency, or Wada, declined to comment until ITF issues a final decision.
Meldonium is used to cure chest pain and heart attacks amid additional disorders, but some scientists have connected it to amplified athletic performance and stamina.