Giving “substantial help” in the ongoing investigation against doping could help Maria Sharapova to reduce her ban that”s be eventually decided by ITF.
The Spanish Health and Sport Protection Agency (AEPSAD) said that since meldonium is an “unspecified substance”, in theory, the sanction could be up to four years. An “unspecified substance” refers to those medicines that are not specified in the list of common medicines. If Sharapova is able to prove that she didn’t have the intention of boosting her performance by using Meldonium, the ban could be reduced significantly.
Once ITF decides to impose a basic sanction, the ban period could be reduced in two ways. The first is that the sports player has to show a lack of fault or negligence.
The second solution, according to what we read in the Mondial Anti-doping Code, admits to have tested positive immediately and give substantial help to the anti-doping officials. And Maria has more or less done the latter by holding a press conference before ITF announced the news. So it’s a fast confession.
Article 10.6.1 of the Code also specifies that “a player who gives substantial help will have to reveal through a written and signed declaration all the information concerning the violations he or she has made; and collaborate fully in the investigations and decisions taken about the information thus given, for example testifying before an audience if required.”
Also, “the information given has to be credible and be an important part of the process or you have to give a reason on which case could be treated.”
The Code includes several examples of the application of this article 10. At best, if Sharapova shows that she took the substance unintentionally, the sanction would be of two years. And if she gives substantial help, the period of sanction will be reduced by three years.
If ITF admits that the topics Sharapova will speak about will have an important role in the investigation, the sanction could be reduced to merely a few months.