© by Gerald So | geraldso.blogspot.com | 5:00 A.M.
On Monday, Maria Sharapova revealed she had failed a drug test after she was eliminated from 2016 Australian Open play. The drug in question, meldonium, which increases oxygen flow in the blood and thus one's capacity for exercise, was banned on January 1. Sharapova said she was unaware of the ban and had been taking the drug under the name mildronate since 2006. Subsequent reports say Sharapova was warned five times that meldonium would be or had been banned.
I've been a Sharapova fan since her 2004 Wimbledon championship run. She was described early on as a more dedicated Anna Kournikova, and her results before 2006 prove that. While I question her performance since taking meldonium and whether she had the medical conditions for which it is legitimately prescribed, I understand the mindset of legally gaining a competitive edge. I am disappointed if she knowingly took meldonium after its ban, but I'll support her if she comes back to play without it.