Tennis star Maria Sharapova still facing hearings after testing positive for the dope test, World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) right now launching new rules for all athletes who tested positive for the banned medicine before March 1, said by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
Maria Sharapova Five-time grand slam champion tested positive for the drug Meldonium this year’s in Australian Open after getting positive result it was added to Wada’s list of banned substances in January.
Wada also issued a notice this Wednesday that athletes who tested positive for Meldonium before March 1 could have bans overturned as the agency was unable to establish how quickly the drug cleared the human body.
But the change in policy will have no bearing on Sharapova’s case, the world tennis governing body said.
“In light of the recent notice from WADA regarding the process for dealing with cases involving Meldonium, the ITF can confirm that the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme case involving Maria Sharapova will proceed to a hearing in accordance with WADA’s recommendations,” the ITF said in a statement on Wednesday.
Until clinical testing is undertaken to prove that Meldonium has performance-enhancing potential indeed, Wada should provide amnesty to athletes who had been taking the drug at the direction of a doctor for a proven medical condition, if not all athletes.
Sharapova said on his ban:
I did fail the test, and I take full responsibility for it. For ten years this medicine was not on WADA’s banned list, and I had legally been taking the medicine for the past ten years. But on January 1, the rules had changed, and Meldonium had become a prohibited substance, which I had not known.
In other words, Sharapova is not arguing that the substance was just still in her body from usage before January 1, as other athletes have argued. Rather, she is arguing ignorance of the rules, which she did not read the emails with the updated list of banned substances.
She later added I made a huge mistake.
The International Tennis Federation has yet to rule on Sharapova’s status, but it will be interesting to see what type of backlash it faces if many athletes are given a pass and Sharapova is not.