Sharapova not alone; Athletes who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs
Tennis star Maria Sharapova has admitted to failing a mandatory drug test on Tuesday during a press conference in Los Angeles, California.
The five-time Grand Slam Champion tested positive for the banned substance meldonium.
Performance enhancing drugs, commonly referred to as “PEDS”, are frowned upon in the athletic community as they are medically proven to give users an unnatural physical advantage over their competitors.
Here are some professional athletes who also tested positive for illegal substances in recent years:
Lance Armstrong (Professional Road Racing Cyclist)
Perhaps the most high profile doping scandal case in recent memory involves the 7-time Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong.
The highly touted cyclist dominated the competition from 1999 to 2005, until the United States Doping Agency charged him for using PEDS over the course of his stellar career.
A total of six urine samples taken from “Le Boss” in 1999 revealed that he has tested positive for erythropoietin (EPO), a banned substance known to increase stamina.
Due to his involvement with PEDS, Armstrong received a lifetime ban in all sports that follow the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code, which ultimately ended his career. He was also stripped of his achievements, including his seven consecutive Tour de France titles.
Anderson Silva (Mixed Martial Arts)
Performance enhancing drugs are rampant especially in combat sports, but no one could have expected the MMA G.O.A.T himself, Anderson Silva, to be one of its users.
The longtime UFC middleweight champion was practically untouchable during his title reign, which featured 10 straight title defenses.
Despite his dominance, the Brazilian tested positive for steroids and was suspended one year by the Nevada Athletic Commission following his unanimous decision victory over Nick Diaz at UFC 183.
Silva, who broke his leg prior to the incident, claims he was unaware that the drug was prohibited.
“It definitely was a mistake. If I had known this supplement that I was taking for something else would have caused this sort of problem, I never would have taken it”, said Silva.
Barry Bonds (Major League Baseball)
The MLB has had countless accounts of players getting busted for PEDS, but Barry Bonds remains as the poster boy for steroid-related scandals. Bonds, who played 22 seasons in MLB, was a polarizing figure who held various hitting records, including most career home runs, most home runs in a single season (73, set in 2001) and most career walks.
In 2003, Bonds, along with several MLB players were held under investigation for their involvement with a pharmaceutical company which supplied steroids and growth hormones to professional athletes.
Despite his accomplishments, Bonds has not been elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in his first four years of eligibility.
Hedo Turkoglu (National Basketball Association)
Steroid usage is pretty unusual in professional basketball, but it didn’t stop 15-year veteran Hedo Turkoglu from obtaining and using the drug.
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