THE ENEMY OF SPORT: DOPING
What is doping
One of the most serious issues the world of sports has to face is doping.
Doping is the use of particular substances or medicines to increase the physical performance of an athlete. It is against the sportive and scientific ethics, but there have been many cases of its abuse also by important sports people.
Doping is not a recent phenomenon: since ancient times athletes have used substances and practices in order to improve their physical performance. As early as 668 AC, when the first Olympic games were held, stimulating substances were used.
In order to fight doping, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was set up in 1999.
It must develop tests which athletes have to do, it has to list the prohibited substances and control athletes (through urine and blood tests).
There are also anti-doping national agencies, such as USADA, which operates in the US,
that have the same goals as the International Agency.
The Meldonium scandal and Maria Sharapova
Doping has hit the headline recently, with the scandal of 172 athletes, including Maria Sharapova, a world famous Russian professional tennis player, who have been found positive in an anti-doping test. Their blood contained traces of Meldonium.
What is Meldonium
The Meldonium is a product to cure anginas and heart diseases , which causes an increase of energy as a side effect.effect.
It seems to be especially effective to increase a person's speed.
The medicine is distributed only in the Baltic countries and Russia , but everyone can have access to this product .
It was placed on the list of prohibited substances on 1 January 2016 by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) ."The Meldonium was added because of its use by athletes to improve their performance" claims WADA.
These charges had a big impact into the lives of the athletes. For example Maria Sharapova lost her sponsors, like Nike and Tag Heuer, and she had to suspend the negotiations with the famous car company Porsche.
New York Times of 13/04/2016 reported that after the scandal, Russian officials and coaches have insisted that many of their athletes stopped taking the drug before the ban was in effect but still tested positive. They pointed to a lack of clarity around the length of time Meldonium takes to exit the body.
So recently, WADA decided a sort of Amnesty: the presence of this substance will be tolerated, if it is less than a milligram ( in the tests effected by 1st May). The decision has been motivated with the impossibility to have clear scientific information on how long the organism takes to digest every trace of Meldonium. In conclusion, the athletes,who took this substance before this ban, will be excused by the accusations.
Doping in Italy
Many Italian athletes have been involved in doping as well. Many athletes risk spoiling their own dreams and not being allowed to participate in the Olympiads 2016 at Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). The principal names are Andrew Howe, Ruggero Pertile, Daniele Meucci, Daniele Greco and Roberto Donati.
CONI (the Italian organization in charge of the preparation of Italian sportspeople and their participation in the Olympic games) has examined every case but it has not found positive athletes except them. Now these athletes risk not taking part in the Olympiads.
Italian team:Matteo Turino,Luigi Galletto
French team:Sebastien Dupuis,Gabriel Dufourt