Kremlin terms Sharapova’s doping failure ‘isolated’
The Kremlin on Wednesday expressed regret over the country’s tennis star Maria Sharapova testing positive for a banned drug at the Australian Open but insisted this was an isolated case.
“Of course the Kremlin knows (about the case), the sports ministry gives us information,” Kremlin press spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.
“We regret this, but at the same time this situation should not be projected onto the whole of Russian sport.
“The situation should not be presented in such a way that it somehow throws a shadow onto Russian sport, on the magnificent achievements of our athletes.”
“We’re talking about individual athletes, individual cases.”
Sharapova confessed Monday that she had tested positive for Meldonium, a drug she said she had been taking since 2006 but that was only added to the banned list this year by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
The former world number one said a change in the WADA’s banned list for 2016 led to an inadvertent violation, for which she will be “provisionally suspended” by the International Tennis Federation.
Sharapova said she originally began taking Meldonium for a variety of symptoms, including a tendency to become ill often, an irregular EKG heart test and a family history of diabetes.
Peskov meanwhile added that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has previously urged the sports officials to look at each doping case “as openly as possible and in full cooperation with the relevant international structures.”
“We are convinced it will be the same way this time,” Peskov said, adding he condemned any attempt to make the doping case about politics.