Don't Go Easy on Sharapova

Document Type

Letter to the Editor

Journal Title

U.S. News & World Report

Publication Date



Tennis star Maria Sharapova recently announced that she failed a drug test conducted during the Australian Open in January. Sharapova tested positive for the drug Meldonium, which was added to the list of banned substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency this year.

By agreement with the agency, the International Tennis Federation, along with most other international sports governing bodies, has agreed to comply with the World Anti-Doping Code. The code requires that athletes be tested in and out of competition, and that the presence in an athlete's body of a specified banned substances will trigger certain penalties, including suspending an athlete from competition.

Sharapova announced her positive test and explained that Meldonium – a drug used in Russia and Eastern Europe, and not approved for use in the U.S. – was a drug she had been taking for various health issues for 10 years. Although taking "full responsibility," Sharapova stressed that she did not intend to cheat, and had no idea when she took the drug that it was recently banned.