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Tennis Star Maria Sharapova Suspended for Failing Drug Test

In March, Maria admitted that she tested positive for 'Meldonium', a drug that was banned only earlier this year, in 2016

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Maria Sharapova 2008 B&L Championship trophy. Image source:Wikimedia Commons
  • Maria Sharapova failed the Drug Test and will be banned from playing Tennis for two years
  • The drug ‘Mildonium’ was abused, the tribunal report said
  • Maria asserted that the drug abuse was unintentional, and she will appeal the CAS for support

Russian Tennis Star Maria Sharapova has been suspended for a period of two years by an independent tribunal for failing the drug test, says the International Tennis Federation.

This unfortunate development will mean that she will have to forfeit her title as the Quarter Finalist in the Australian Open this year, along with the prize money.

The ITF tribunal stated that Sharapova’s 2 year ban on playing the sport will be backdated to January 2016, thanks to her “prompt admission”. She had admitted in March that she tested positive for ‘Meldonium’, a drug that was banned only earlier this year.

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Sharapova at the Western & Southern Open, August 2011. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Sharapova at the Western & Southern Open, August 2011. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

However, she also asserts that she was doing so unintentionally. In a press conference in a downtown Los Angeles Hotel, she said:

“I did fail the test, and I take full responsibility for it. … It’s very important for you to understand that for 10 years, this medicine was not on WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency]’s banned list and I had been legally taking the medicine for the past 10 years. But on Jan. 1, the rules had changed and meldonium became a prohibited substance, which I did not know. … I was given this medicine by my doctor for several health issues I was having in 2006.”

The tribunal did understand that Sharapova’s breach “was unintentional” because she “did not appreciate that Mildronate contained a substance prohibited from 1 January 2016.” Meldonium is the active ingredient in Mildronate. However, the decision read:

“[S]he does bear sole responsibility for the contravention, and very significant fault, in failing to take any steps to check whether the continued use of this medicine was permissible. If she had not had not concealed her use of Mildronate from the anti-doping authorities, members of her own support team and the doctors whom she consulted, but had sought advice, then the contravention would have been avoided.”

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It concluded: “She is the sole author of her own misfortune.”

In a Facebook post following the tribunal’s decision, Sharapova described the two-year suspension as “unfairly harsh.” Here’s more:

“While the tribunal concluded correctly that I did not intentionally violate the anti-doping rules, I cannot accept an unfairly harsh two-year suspension. The tribunal, whose members were selected by the ITF, agreed that I did not do anything intentionally wrong, yet they seek to keep me from playing tennis for two years. I will immediately appeal the suspension portion of this ruling to CAS, the Court of Arbitration for Sport.”

The Facebook Post has collected over 52,000 likes  (as of now) with very loyal and supporting comments from thousands of people all over the world. Trending Twitter hashtags like #BringMariaBack and #IStandForMaria also did their rounds on Twitter.

-by Saurabh Bodas, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: saurabhbodas96

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Hindu American Olympic Medal Winner Rajeev Ram says Hinduism taught him control on the court

Rajeev attributes his success to his parents who taught him the Hindu values that translated onto the tennis court

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Representative set of the Olympic medals. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Rajeev attributes his success to his parents who taught him the Hindu values that translated onto the tennis court
  • His parents, who are involved in the local Hindu community didn’t care whether he won or lost his tennis matches as a child but ensured that he controlled his temper
  • In time, he found out that keeping calm could not only make him morally better but could also improve his scores

August 23, 2016: When people from a tiny community that exist in a massive land distinguish themselves and reach the zenith of success, they become role models, symbols of hope to all those who aspire to make history. A small Hindu community of the US has brought out prodigies in every field, creating a name for themselves. The Hindu Americans have produced successful entrepreneurs, and scholars and also those who excel in the professional realms of sports.

There have been many Hindu Americans who have represented the US and become Olympic champions. Mohini Bhardwaj, the silver medal winner gymnast in 2004, and Raj Bhavsar who won bronze in 2008 in the same field are a few to name. When Rajeev Ram stood on the Olympic podium to receive his silver medal in tennis doubles in Rio 2016, not only did he become a new role model for the Hindu American children, but he also became the new face of a local Hindu community he belongs to, mentioned the Washington Post.

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Rajeev attributes his success to his parents who taught him the Hindu values that translated onto the tennis court. The Washington Post quotes Ram, “Part of the Hindu religion teaches- more so than anything else, your control of your mind — your self-control, basically. Obviously, your body’s going to do what your mind tells it to do. If you can have that inner control, a sense of peace, your body’s going to follow.” This self-control generally refers to one’s mastery over his moral and ethical choices. Ram has taken his practice to the next level by achieving mastery of his body.

Rajeev Ram, Image source: Twitter
Rajeev Ram, Image source: Twitter

Rajeev’s parents, who are involved in the local Hindu community didn’t care whether he won or lost his tennis matches as a child but ensured that he controlled his temper. In time, he found out that keeping calm could not only make him morally better but could also improve his scores.

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So when the people abroad are able to inculcate the principles of Hinduism and transform themselves into amazing personalities, it is sad that back home in India which is the motherland of Hinduism, people are unable to harness the best athletes and send them to the Olympic Games.

– prepared by Ajay Krishna of NewsGram. Twitter: @ajkrish14

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World Record: Meet the 96 year-old Shigemi Hirata, World’s Oldest College Graduate of Japan

Shigemi Hirata received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Art and Design from Kyoto University at the age of 96 years and 200 days

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Shigemi Hirata Image Credit: japantimes.co.jp
  • Hirata was born in Hiroshima on 1 September, 1919 and has four great-grandchildren
  • He served in the navy during the Second World War and worked as a security guard in a Takamatsu hospital after the war until he got retired in 1980s
  • 100-year-old Japanese woman, Mieko Nagaoka, became the world’s first centenarian to complete a 1,500-metre freestyle swim, 20 years after she took up the sport

JAPAN: A 96-year-old man in western Japan has entered the Guinness Book of World Records for breaking all the records and becoming the oldest college graduate according to the World Record Academy. Shigemi Hirata, a resident of Takamatsu, received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Art and Design from Kyoto University at the age of 96 years and 200 days. It took him 11 years to earn the degree of his ceramic arts course.

“My longevity is something like destiny. I am blessed with people (I have met).”

Hirata was born in Hiroshima on 1 September, 1919 and has four great-grandchildren. He served in the navy during the Second World War and worked as a security guard in a Takamatsu hospital after the war until he got retired in 1980s. In 2005, when he was 85, Hirata enrolled in the university’s correspondence study program to enhance his skills in pottery, which he took up when he became a pensioner. He occasionally attended classes at the university’s campus in Kyoto though most of his studies were done at home. He is something of a celebrity on campus.

Shigemi Hirata Image Source: Indiatimes
Shigemi Hirata Image Source: Indiatimes

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Hirata, after becoming the oldest man to earn a graduate degree is not done with setting the records. “My next goal is to live until 100,” he said, before cracking a joke. “If I’m still in good shape at the time, I will consider going to graduate school,” said Hirata.

Japan’s lively pensioners regularly set eye-popping records as the silver-haired generation enjoy longer and healthier lives.

100-year-old Japanese woman, Mieko Nagaoka, became the world’s first centenarian to complete a 1,500-metre freestyle swim, 20 years after she took up the sport.

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Hidekichi Miyazaki, dubbed “Golden Bolt” after Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt, set a record by finishing a 100-meter sprint in just 42.22 seconds at the Kyoto Masters Athletics Autumn Competition at the age of 105.

There were nearly 59,000 centenarians in Japan in 2015, according to government figures — which means 46 out of every 100,000 people is 100 or over.

According to NHK World report of 2015, the number of Japanese aged 65 or older has risen to a new record of about 33.8 million people, or 26.7 per cent of the population.

– by Pashchiema, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @pashchiema

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Google ‘Doodles’ World T20

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Goolge doodle world T20

The immensely popular search engine site, Google, decided to celebrate the inauguration of the World T20 matches by uploading a cheerful doodle which can be viewed on the engine’s homepage.

Google’s doodles are intended to celebrate holidays, events, achievements and people. The current doodle was unveiled on Monday ahead of the event which starts on March 8.

The event will be played across 7 venues in India with 16 teams participating in it and the final will be held at the historic Eden Gardens here on April 3.

The doodle shows players in blue, red and the umpires in white which resemble ‘pawns’ in chess.

The image — a side view of the stadium also shows spectators cheering their team — has a huge Google logo at the top. A click on the logo will direct a user to the schedule of the event.

In the tournament opener — starting with the opening match of the qualifiers — Zimbabwe will take on Hong Kong and later on, Tuesday Scotland will lock horns with Afghanistan in Nagpur. (IANS)