Science and Journalism in Society

Brandeis University JOUR 130B

The War on Drugs in Sports Continues

On March 21, 2016 yet another professional athlete was caught using drugs. Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova was suspended for usage of the banned drug meldonium, or called mildronate. This drug is not approved by the FDA but is used for heart tissue protection and regulates one’s metabolism. This drug is normally used by the elderly and prescribed for  no more then a couple weeks at a time. Meldonium gives athletes an advantage because it endurances performance by improving rehabilitation after exercise and can protect against stress. This allows athletes to not struggle as greatly after an injury or a match. Sharapova started taking this drug in 2006 due to her “immune deficiency, abnormal EKG results, diabetes indicators, low magnesium and asthenia.” She claims to get the flu very frequently and meldonium was the only way to continue her career. Ivar Kalvins, the inventor of the drug, states, “most athletes should be on this drug…it protects the heart.” Before the drug was banned, in The European Games 66 out of 762 athletes used this drug. Sharapova failed a drug test in January and hid the results until March when the truth came out.

 

Sources:

http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/21/health/maria-sharapova-drug-meldonium-cold-war-origins/index.html

http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/08/health/sharapova-doping-meldonium-mildronate/

http://www.newsweek.com/maria-sharapova-meldonium-what-meldonium-436525?piano_t=1

1 Comment

  1. thanks, Noa. This is a good synopsis of the issue.

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