News 14 March 2016

Tennis world responds to Sharapova meldonium revelations

Since Sharapova’s admission last week that she tested positive for the recently banned drug meldonium, professional tennis players past and present have offered their opinions on her provisional suspension. Here’s what they’ve had to say:

John McEnroe

Three-time Wimbledon champion, 13th March 2016

Athletes are always looking for an edge

‘If a drug is legal? That is like a no-brainer. I mean, are you kidding?’

‘People have been looking since the beginning of time for an edge, and you’re constantly looking for these things in any way, shape or form.’

‘I do think that for Murray, if he thought there were people out there that were benefiting from something and he was not benefiting from it, you can understand why he would want to have more testing.’

‘That’s the whole issue, because if people feel they are getting an edge, and someone else isn’t, that’s just the way it is.’

Pam Shriver

Former US Open finalist, 13th March 2016

Responsibility lies with Sharapova’s team 

‘In this day and age of the athlete there has to at least be someone on the team responsible for doing a double-check. This is so important.’

‘To me [a ban] could go anywhere from nine months to two years. I think four years would be way overdone.’

‘I think everyone wants to see strong evidence that there was a medical situation that warranted going on a medication for 10 years.’


Novak Djokovic

Current world no. 1, 12th March 2016

If there was a mistake there should be consequences

‘I obviously wish her all the best. I’ve known her for a long time. I feel for her with all that’s happening and I just hope she gets out of this stronger.’

‘I know that she has always been very responsible and aware towards herself, towards the sport, very disciplined, very kind of hard working, hard-working ethics, and love what she does.’

‘I thought she was very courageous and was very human, brave of her, to go out and take the responsibility and say what has happened. She did admit that she made a mistake with her team, and I think you don’t have to blame WADA for anything.’

‘I can’t speak about the details because I don’t know.’

‘I know as much as you guys know whether or not she was aware of the changes. But certainly if there was a mistake and if she was caught to be positive on the doping for a certain substance, then there should be certain consequences for that.’

Tomas Berdych

Czech professional tennis player, 11th March 2016

You have to check everywhere before using a drug

‘If you are not taking anything, then you don’t have to look at the list, right?’

‘So if I’m supposed to take any medicine, whatever it is, and it’s new and that I haven’t taken in the past, the No. 1 thing I’m going to do is check it 10 times, all the different sources, doctors, this, that, everywhere I can, before I start using. And then I will find out what’s new with WADA and the list.’

Andy Murray

Current world no. 2, 10th March 2016

It’s an athlete’s job to know what’s going into their body

‘Clearly if you are taking performance-enhancing drugs and you fail a drugs test, you have to get suspended.’

‘I think, since 1 January, there have been 55 different athletes who have failed tests for meldonium.’

‘I find it strange that there’s a prescription drug used for heart conditions and so many athletes competing at the top level of their sport would have that condition. That sounds a bit off to me.’

‘Some people put a lot of trust in the team around them, so it’s hard to say what is the right thing for everyone but I think it’s part of her job to know everything that’s going into our bodies and not rely on just what a doctor is saying or a physio is saying, that you checked yourself and double-checked that anything going into your body is safe.’


Rafael Nadal

14-time Grand Slam champion, 10th March 2016

I want to believe it is a mistake

‘I have never had the temptation of doing something wrong. I believe in the sport and the values of the sport.’

‘It is an example for the kids and if I am doing something that goes against that, I will be lying to myself, not lying to my opponents.’

‘I have been open all my career. I never tried to hide nothing that I did.’

‘It is difficult to imagine that something like this can happen, but mistakes happen. She should be punished.’

‘I want to believe it is a mistake for Maria. She didn’t want to do it. But obviously it is negligence. She must pay for it.’

Angelique Kerber

Australian Open champion, 10th March 2016

Every player has a responsibility to themselves

‘It’s a combination of [me and the team]. At the end, I’m checking everything twice, or three times, to see if it’s really on the list because every player has a responsibility to yourself.’

Serena Williams

Current world no. 1, 8th March 2016

She has taken responsibility

‘Most people were surprised and shocked but happy that she was upfront and very honest.’

‘It’s just taking responsibility, which she admitted she was ready to do.’

‘We live in a massive world with billions of people and we have a few people that do things and it makes people scared, but that doesn’t make the whole world a bad place.’

‘That’s the same thing with tennis. The majority of the players really pride themselves on having integrity and playing with that.’


Jennifer Capriati

Former world no. 1, 8th March 2016

It takes away from the sport

‘Something is wrong with the whole system. The intentions of the system was never morally grounded to begin with.’

‘I just think it takes away from the sport and the hard work if true. Yes its hard to be kicked when down, when injured and out.’

‘I didn’t have the high priced team of drs (doctors) that found a way for me to cheat and get around the system and wait for science to catch up.’

‘I had to lose my career and never opted to cheat no matter what. I had to throw in the towel and suffer. It’s always about one thing that benefits everyone.’

‘What’s the point of someone taking a heart medicine that helps your heart recover faster unless you have a heart condition?’

You may also like...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This