Conspiracy Theorist: 3/29

Free Maria Sharapova

Mark Luedtke

Whenever you think things can’t get more stupid, you are mistaken. They can always get stupider. Just ask Maria Sharapova.

Sharapova is an accomplished Russian tennis champion, having won five grand slam tournament championships, but until recently, she was best known for getting whipped by Serena Williams every time they played.

Now she’s infamous for being mugged by the progressive morality police. Sharapova failed a drug test at the Australian Open earlier this year when she tested positive for meldonium, supposedly a performance-enhancing drug. The Daily Mail dutifully goes on the attack: “The drug which could destroy Maria Sharapova’s career is only supposed to be taken for six weeks, according to its Latvian manufacturers. The revelation comes after the Russian tennis star admitted in Los Angeles yesterday that she had been using it for 10 years for medical issues. The drug, regularly given to Soviet troops in the 1980s to boost their stamina, is normally prescribed for medical use for four to six weeks.”

The narrative is clear. The sneaky Russian didn’t earn her championships. She’s a cheater, secretly associated with the Russian military, and must be destroyed.

The Daily Mail leapt to character assassination in a subsequent article titled “The dark past that drove Maria Sharapova’s obsession to win and get rich.” How dare a Russian come to America and work hard to win and get rich. I thought that was the American dream, but the attack sounds more like resentment.

But the persecution of Sharapova is ridiculous. Paul Craig Roberts tells the complete story. “Mildronate [another name for the medicine] is used to treat heart problems, magnesium deficiency and diabetes. Sharapova suffers from magnesium deficiency. There is diabetes in her family history, and doctors saw signs that she was developing the disease. The medicine is not designed to improve athletic performance. However, the medicine does protect athletes’ hearts as they push to their limits.”

Roberts argues that tennis’ authorities, who knew Sharapova used the medicine, targeted her. “The medicine was added to the prohibited list on January 1 under the name of meldonium, a name that Sharapova did not recognize. Even if she had been aware that her medicine had been banned, there was not sufficient time between January 1 and the January Australian Open for her to be clear of the substance. WADA’s decision was made in a way that guaranteed that Sharapova would fail the test, a test she has always passed in her rise to dominance in women’s tennis. Other than WADA’s incompetence, it is difficult to read this other than WADA accepted a bribe to eliminate Sharapova from the Australian Open and subsequent events.”

The rapid attack by propagandists after Sharapova announced she failed the test supports the theory. Nike, Tag Heuer, and Porsche suspended endorsement contracts with the star, potentially costing her tens of millions of dollars. She was canned from her role as a UN goodwill ambassador.

Sharapova may be disqualified from playing in the Olympics, and that’s a clue to the real motivation behind this ambush. ABC News reports, “The 28-year-old is probably Russia’s most famous sports star, and her suspension by the World Tennis Association is a shock for the country’s sporting establishment that also deals yet another blow to the nation’s hopes for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this summer.”

ABC continues, “Russia already faces largely missing out on the Rio Olympics over doping after a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) investigation accused the country of running a huge cover-up of drug use by its track and field athletes…

“The drug that prompted Sharapova’s suspension, meldonium, also threatens to cause further trouble for Russian athletes. A filmmaker from the German channel ARD, who first broke the story of a doping cover-up, claimed today that one in five Russian athletes were using the drug before its banning in January. A Russian figure skater, Ekaterina Bobrova, was also suspended Monday for using meldonium.”

This targeted attack on Russian athletes through doping charges reeks of the Cold War manipulation of sports, especially the Olympics. Sharapova was set up because U.S. rulers want to dominate Russian rulers and they won’t comply.

Sharapova should fight this attack instead of rolling over and apologizing, but there is some hope for sanity. The inventor of the drug refutes claims it’s a performance-enhancing drug. Sharapova’s racket sponsor backs her. Top men’s tennis star Novak Djokovic backs her. In an upside-down world, we must hope Russians stand up for what’s right against U.S. rulers.

The views and opinions expressed in Conspiracy Theorist are the views and/or opinions of the author and do not reflect the views and/or opinions of the Dayton City Paper or Dayton City Media and are published strictly for entertainment purposes.

Mark Luedtke is an electrical engineer with a degree from the University of Cincinnati and currently works for a Dayton attorney. He can be reached at

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Reach DCP freelance writer Mark Luedtke at

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