Return of the Doping Kings (Sharapova and friends...)

Fred not Lynn

Dick Button Jr.
SoSH Member
Jul 13, 2005
4,751
Alberta
Just when we thought sports doping had reached global eqilibrium, Russia once again shows they're still the all-time leaders in the field...

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/03/11/sports/tennis/maria-sharapova-meldonium-positive-tests.html?referer=

Meldonium is a heart/diabetes drug easily available in Russia (and not at all in the US, it is not FDA approved, and I don't even know if it is in the process). It increases blood flow, which generally just makes athletes feel better.

It was put on the prohibited list as of Jan 1, 2016 and clearly Russians have been on the stuff for some time before that. Interestingly, Sharapova herself has admitted to using it, and claims the positive test came because she was ill-informed and literally didn't get the memo to stop using it - while others affiliated with her, apparently not used to actually honesty and frankness went to the traditional "the opponents slipped it into her system somehow" defence.

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/mar/08/meldonium-maria-sharapova-failed-drugs-test

In speed skating, this is a big deal because Pavel Kulizhnikov, one of many Russian athletes to get caught on this stuff, just finished as dominant a season in the 500m as there has ever been - and most notably skated the first 500m under 34.00 seconds ever last November, breaking an iconic and old world record.

http://olympics.nbcsports.com/2016/03/08/pavel-kulizhnikov-meldonium-doping-russia-olympics/?utm_network=facebook&utm_post=5313240&utm_source=FB - NBC Olympics&utm_tags=srm[olympics,article,speed skating]

Think an actual positive test after Roger Maris' hit 61, or Ted Williams after hitting .400.

Anyway, because the records were set before Jan 1, they will stand. Kulizhnikov's people are blaming in-house sabotage, and I suspect a team-mate will "confess" and retire in semi-comfort to a pleasant resort community.

So, what's this got to do with baseball?

Well - as far as I can tell at this point, is has been banned by WADA, but not yet under the MLB drug regulations...so in theory, given that you can import up to a 3 month supply of pretty much anything into the US, it's totally legal for use by professional baseball players...and it sounds like a useful recovery/ energy drug.

The question is; Is a professional baseball player guilty of "cheating" if at this point in time he takes Meldonium between now and whenever MLB gets around to banning it?
 

Fred not Lynn

Dick Button Jr.
SoSH Member
Jul 13, 2005
4,751
Alberta
So what happens in the "to ban it soon" phase? And why are there different doping rules for major and minors?

In theory, if you want your team to maximize performance, shouldn't you be outraged that they're not using this stuff up until the day it is banned?