Sharapova has her autobiography out and she has made another serious effort, through it, to salvage her tarnished legacy or whatever is left of it. However, the release of the autobiography seems ill-timed, and Sharapova’s advisors should have done better than to let her release it so close to the entire Meldonium episode which, despite Sharapova’s wishes and efforts, will truly be the lasting legacy of Maria.
Meldonium as a performance enhancing drug “PED”?
No matter what Sharapova says or writes, the facts of the matter as quoted from The Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/mar/08/meldonium-maria-sharapova-failed-drugs-test) are detailed below and they seem to suggest that Meldonium may have been used as a PED by her:
“Meldonium is also known as Mildronate and is manufactured in Latvia and only distributed in Baltic countries and Russia. It is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States and is not authorized in the rest of Europe. Sharapova, however, had been living in the US while taking this drug regularly since 2006! Meldonium increases blood flow, which improves exercise capacity in athletes. World Anti Doping Authority (Wada) found “evidence of its use by athletes with the intention of enhancing performance” by virtue of carrying more oxygen to muscle tissue. The decision to add Meldonium to the banned list was approved on 16 September 2015, and it came into effect on 1 January 2016. Wada had spent the previous year monitoring the drug before adding it to the banned list. The drug was name-checked in the latest investigative documentary on Russian doping reforms by the German Hajo Seppelt. The documentary referred to a 2015 study in which 17% of Russian athletes (724 of 4,316) tested were found to have Meldonium in their system. A global study found 2.2% of athletes had it in their system. L’Equipe reported that the scientific advisor to the French Agency Against Doping (AFLD), Professor Xavier Bigard, said in interviews with athletes at last year’s European Games in Baku that a wide proportion of athletes admitted taking Meldonium.”
What is Sharapova using in place of Meldonium now?
Sharapova claims that she was consuming this performance-enhancing drug because of a magnesium deficiency and family history of diabetes, and it did not take much for Sharapova to drop Meldonium for other effective substitutes unless, unbeknown to the world, her request for therapeutic use exemption (TUE) of Meldonium was denied by the authorities and she is, therefore, being forced to settle for the second best treatment now. There are many who’d love to see a copy, if any, of that TUE request.