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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Last Night's Winner: True Equality In Women's Basketball

Illustration for article titled Last Night's Winner: True Equality In Women's Basketball

Former UConn standout and current WNBA star Diana Taurasi was suspended from her Turkish team after testing positive for a banned substance, reported to be a stimulant. This has nothing to do with Geno Auriemma. I'm sure he'll be brought up anyway.

Taurasi's no stranger to controversy, or what passes for controversy in the world of women's basketball, having been busted for DUI last year. But alcohol doesn't actually make you better at basketball. Modafinil does.

Taurasi's "A" sample came back positive last week, and she's been provisionally suspended until her "B" sample can be tested. Neither she nor her team, Fenerbahce, has given any specifics, but the Turkish Basketball Federation has said the substance in question was modafinal, a mild stimulant. WADA banned it in 2004, and a number of athletes have been punished for positive tests.


It's an interesting drug to take as a PED. Designed to fight narcolepsy and other sleep disorders, it's used by athletes to prolong the amount of time they can exercise before becoming tired, and reduces the amount of effort required to maintain that level. Why would a athlete in a sport that requires relatively quick bursts of energy (albeit spread across 2 hours at a time) require a drug for endurance? Unlike every other professional athlete, Taurasi competes year-round. Her WNBA-max salary of $101,500 forces her overseas in the winter, first in Russia, now in Turkey. That's something that men's basketball players don't have to deal with.

At least Diana will always have WNBA Live 2008.

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