While the fellow players of Maria Sharapova were shocked by her announcement that, she failed a drug test at the Australian Open, most of them felt the “huge mistake” could have been avoided.
Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, the world number three has described it as “a very sad day for tennis” but expressed the views of many, by saying it was down to every player, via their doctor, to check whether prescribed medications were legal.
Sharapova was tested positive for meldonium, which some researchers have linked to increased athletic performance and endurance, after failing by her own admission to realize that it had been outlawed, since January 1st.
“I don’t check those emails,” Radwanska said, when she was asked about receiving notification of which substances and medications were on the banned list, before the beginning of every year.
That is what my doctor is doing and my agent. I am scared because I know every pill can have something in it so when I am sick I am just taking aspirins 100 percent because I am always afraid that it is going to be something else. (To be safe) I had better play with the flu.”
Eighth-ranked Czech Petra Kvitova, felt sorry for Sharapova but, opined that doping system has working well.
“It’s something which we all should know, what we are taking and what we are putting into the body. It’s a huge mistake unfortunately and she has taken responsibility for it. We see that they (doping authorities) are trying to have a clean sport. The system is working, they are doing a good job on that,” she said.
Except Svetlana Kuznetsova, none from her fellow Russian players supported Maria.
Three-time grand slam champion Jennifer Capriati responded on the issue, tweeting, “I’m extremely angry and disappointed. I had to lose my career and never opted to cheat no matter what. I had to throw in the towel and suffer. I didn’t have the high priced team of drs that found a way for me to cheat and get around the system and wait for science to catch up.”
Kuznetsova tweeted reads, “First of all, I want to say that Maria is a great athlete, and even this “strange mistake” will not be able to outshine all of what she has achieved in tennis.
“And most importantly, none of us, especially me, have no rights to comment this story - not to criticize or evaluate Maria. Doping agency has to see this case, not others.”
American doubles specialist Bethanie Mattek-Sands spoke to the media on the issue, saying, “From my first day as a professional, they tell you that you are responsible for everything that’s in your body. If any of my friends or I go to a doctor, we bring our banned list if we are getting medications.”
By Phani Ch