July 11, 2016
A tennis star has been punished for using me.
What molecule am I?
Image of Meldonium 3D Image of Meldonium

Meldonium is a zwitterionic compound that was developed in Latvia in 1970 as an anti-ischemia drug. AS Grindeks, a Latvian pharmaceutical company, markets small quantities of it in Eastern Europe.

But meldonium is better known as a doping drug that athletes use to enhance performance. At the beginning of this year, the World Anti-Doping Agency added meldonium to its list of banned substances. Soon thereafter, tennis star Maria Sharapova became the first prominent athlete to have been affected by this ban.

After failing a drug test at the Australian Open, Sharapova announced that she had taken the drug for many years and was not aware of the ban. The International Tennis Federation suspended her for 2 years, but Sharapova appealed the ban. The Court of Arbitration for Sport will likely consider the appeal later this month.

MOTW Updates

N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone, the Molecule of the Week for December 28, 2009, is a solvent widely used in the paint and coatings industries. It may now be in regulatory trouble: Under a new chemical health and safety law, the US EPA may curtail its use because of its danger to human health.

Ibuprofen, the widely used painkiller and anti-inflammation drug, was the Molecule of the Week for September 20, 2004. Researchers at Oxford University (UK) recently discovered that ibuprofen, in combination with the chemotherapy drug toremifene, can reduce the severity of Ebola virus infection in rodents.

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