Why Maria Sharapova's meldonium positive raises questions for cycling too

How much evidence is required to put a substance on the banned list – and will athletes take anything that might conceivably give them the edge?

When Eduard Vorganov of the Katusha cycling team tested positive for meldonium early last month, he was among the very first athletes to fall foul of the addition of that drug to WADA’s list of banned substances. Since then, dozens of athletes – almost all from Eastern Europe or the Baltic countries – have also tested positive for the drug across sports ranging from ice dancing to track and field. None of them is more prominent than Maria Sharapova, the Russian tennis star and five-time Grand Slam winner.

Sharapova’s positive test and Monday’s well-orchestrated press conference have set the stage for the most high-profile doping case since that of Lance Armstrong. It also provides an opportunity to ask some difficult questions about doping in sports and efforts to regulate it.

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Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.