Murray: Careful to read everything that is relevant to him

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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) Scottish tennis star Andy Murray reacted to Maria Sharapova’s failed drug test by noting that he’s careful to read everything that is relevant to him.

Sharapova said this week that she had tested positive for meldonium because she didn’t read the email from the World Anti-Doping Agency that said the drug was on the prohibited list this year. The Russian called it a huge mistake.

“Everyone’s obviously different,” Murray said Thursday at the BNP Paribas Open. “Some people put a lot of trust in the people and the team around them so it’s hard to say what’s the right thing for everyone, but I think it’s almost part of our job to know everything that’s going into our bodies and not just rely on what a doctor is saying or a physio is saying.”

Murray said since Sharapova’s announcement he has been reading about meldonium, too, and what he’s learned makes him wonder about those using it.

“The stories like this happen regularly,” he said. “It seems like it’s almost a weekly occurrence, so I wouldn’t say it was shocking, really. Obviously, since then you try and read about it and learn as much as you can and try to understand what’s really going on. I read that 55 athletes have failed tests for that substance since Jan. 1. You don’t expect such high-level athletes, at the top of many sports, to have heart conditions.”

Meldonium, virtually unheard of in the U.S., has been widely-used in Eastern Europe and former Soviet countries for heart conditions. But it was placed on the banned list because it enhances oxygen uptake and endurance.

A study recently released by the British Journal of Sports Medicine said that during last year’s European Games meldonium may have been used by almost 500 athletes and there were 66 positive tests.

“This study highlights the widespread and inappropriate use and prescribing of this prescription drug in a generally healthy athlete population,” the researchers said.

Murray thinks that’s a problem with more than just meldonium, too.

“I think taking a prescription drug that you don’t need just because it’s legal, that’s wrong,” he said. “If you’re taking a prescription drug and you’re not using it for what that drug was meant for, then you don’t need it, so you’re just using it for the performance enhancing benefits that drug is giving you.”

That being the case, Murray said, the penalty should be obvious.

“If you’re taking performance-enhancing drugs and you fail a drug test you have to get suspended,” he said.

Unseeded Parks beats top-seeded Garcia for her 1st title

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LYON, France — Unseeded American Alycia Parks secured a stunning 7-6 (7), 7-5 upset win over WTA Finals champion Caroline Garcia in the Open Metropole de Lyon final to clinch her first career title.

“I think France has a special part in my heart right now,” Parks said. “I’ll be back next year.”

The 22-year-old Parks, who is ranked 79th, had 15 aces and saved all four break points against the top-seeded Garcia.

Parks secured the only break of a tight contest to win the match.

The fifth-ranked Garcia, a U.S. Open semifinalist last year, was seeking a 12th career title.

“Congrats on a great tournament,” Garcia told Parks in English. “If you keep playing like this for sure you’re going to keep going up (the rankings).”

Parks has a career-best ranking of 75th.

The 29-year-old Garcia, who grew up in Lyon, took time to thank her home crowd – this time in French.

“It means a lot to play here, thanks for being here,” Garcia said. “You supported me from the first point to the last. Thanks for all your encouragement.”

Zhu beats Tsurenko to win Thailand Open

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HUA HIN, Thailand — Zhu Lin of China won her maiden career title after beating Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the Thailand Open.

In a match lasting one hour and 45 minutes, both players exchanged nail-biting baseline rallies before Zhu finally found a way past her determined opponent.

The 29-year-old Chinese player managed a break to go up 5-3 in the first set. Although she was broken to love in the following game, Zhu returned the favor straight back, also to love, to take the opening set in 46 minutes.

The second saw players trade breaks with Zhu eventually securing her first match point at 5-3. She sprayed a shot wide to miss the chance but capitalized on her third in the 10th game with a backhand winner.

“I’m so happy to finally win my first tour title. All the hard work finally paid off,” said the No. 54-ranked Zhu, who will crack the top 50 when the new WTA rankings are updated.

Zhu has started the season strongly, reaching the quarter-finals in Auckland and the last 16 at the Australian Open.

The victory also allowed Zhu to avenge her loss to the Ukrainian at the WTA Dubai Championships back in 2019.

Despite the loss, the No. 136-ranked Tsurenko, 33, will return to the top 100.