Athletes need more time to stop using newly banned drugs

I am glad to read that tennis champion Maria Sharapova has courageously admitted to taking the newly banned substance meldonium ("Sponsors ditch Sharapova after revelation of failed drug test"; March 9).

But Sharapova's ban and punishment are uncalled for. She has been taking meldonium for 10 years because of health reasons, while the regulation concerning the drug has been in force only since Jan 1 this year.

The World Anti-Doping Agency and tennis authorities should allow athletes time to stop using newly banned drugs ("Banned substance trips up a growing list of athletes"; March 9).

I am sure that due to the advancement of science and medicine, more effective and potent drugs will be made available for all to boost their health, stamina and performance.

Doctors and those who are responsible for taking care of athletes should be well updated on what the newly banned drugs are, so that athletics will not be unnecessarily penalised.

I salute Sharapova for her courage and sportsmanship.

Ace Kindredzen Cheong