The world of Cyprus sports has been shaken up by a doping scandal. According to information, Cyprus track and field champion Ramona Papaioannou tested positive for anabolic steroids in 2021.
The 32-year-old sprinter gave a urine sample on 14/06/2021 as part of her participation in the international "Filothei Women Gala" in Athens. On December 8, 2021, a WADA (World Anti-Doping Organization) accredited laboratory in Bucharest detected high testosterone levels in her sample, likely attributed to anabolic steroids in her system, which is a banned substance for competing athletes.
On January 13, 2022, WADA sent a letter to Ramona informing her of the test results. In the letter, WADA stated that Ramona Papaioannou did not have a "Therapeutic Use Exemption" (also known as "TUE") that justified testosterone and its metabolites found in her sample.
Ramona apologized noting that she did not deliberately take a banned substance, but failed to report a number of supplements on the Doping Control Form when she returned to competing in the summer of 2021 after a 2-year hiatus. She stated that the adverse findings on her sample were most likely caused by the use of one or more of these supplements.
Despite explaining that she had not deliberately taken the banned substances, she acknowledged that she had violated anti-doping regulations and relinquished her right to have a re-analysis of her sample.
According to the regulations, Ramona Papaioannou will not be allowed to participate in major competitions for four years, however, her sentence was reduced to three years because she had acknowledged her mistake and apologized.