Maria Sharapova recently held a press conference and let the world know that she had failed the drug test at the Australian Open. Sharapova tested positive for Meldonium, a substance that tops the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) list of banned items.
Post-disclosure, WADA chief Criag Reedie had said that the agency will further investigate this issue and try and find out about other athletes as well.
WADA had suspended Russian athletes from participating in the international level after the agency found evidence of state-assisted doping in the country.
Former WADA chief Dick Pound was responsible for this operation and he did it quite successfully. Pound had stated that Russia may not feature in the Rio Olympics 2016, and now it looks like the condition has worsened.
Not only Russia, but athletes from many other countries have tested positive for Meldonium. More than 60 athletes were found under the influence of this banned substance. Many of their names have not been announced publicly, but WADA did name a few among them:
1. Semion Elistratov of Russia -- an Olympic gold medalist in short-track speedskating.
2. Pavel Kulizhnikov of Russia -- a world champion speedskater.
3. Davit Modzmanashvili of Georgia -- an Olympic silver medalist in wrestling
4. Abeba Aregawi of Sweden -- a world champion runner.
"Regarding the number of meldonium positives, I can tell you that it was at 60 adverse analytical findings (since January 1st) recorded on Monday and that number is growing," a WADA spokesman Ben Nichols was quoted as saying by the New York Times.
"We are not really at any stage surprised when a substance is put on the list and all of the sudden there are positive cases," David Howman, WADA's director general, said.
"The reason for it being on the list is it's being used and has been used to enhance people's performance, and that was the reason for this substance first to be monitored for 12 months," Howman added.
"There was ample warning, if you like, given when it was put on the monitoring list in 2014 for people to say, 'Hey, we have to be careful here.' And they weren't."