Tennis star Maria Sharapova disclosed that she failed a drug test at the Australian Open in a press conference Monday in Los Angeles. The 28-year-old said she received a letter several days ago from the International Tennis Foundation (ITF) informing her she had tested for Meldonium, a substance she admitted using for 10 years but had been declared illegal starting in 2016.
There is still no word on how long Sharapova will be suspended for the violation. She pleaded ignorance to not knowing the drug was banned and said she “made a huge mistake” and takes “full responsibility.”
I wonder what the punishment the ITF will give Shazza, I would imagine after appeal something like Marin county Cilic received 6 months ?
— Brad Gilbert (@bgtennisnation) March 7, 2016
"I don't want to end my career this way," Sharapova said. "I really hope I will be given another chance to play this game."
Sharapova, currently ranked No. 7 in the world, has not played a match since losing in the Australian Open quarterfinals to Serena Williams 6-4 6-1 on Jan. 26. She recently dropped out of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells in California due to a left forearm injury, and had previously suffered shoulder, elbow and ankle injuries.
Leading up to the press conference, there was speculation she was retiring due to her numerous injuries. Sharapova acknowledged the retirement rumors, saying she wouldn’t make such an announcement at "a hotel in downtown Los Angeles with some pretty ugly carpet."
Sharapova has won five Grand Slams, most recently capturing the French Open in 2014.
Banned drug may increase exercise capacity according to Wikipedia
— Pam Shriver (@PHShriver) March 7, 2016
Sharapova Announces That She Failed Doping Test, -hope this gets cleared up as it seems 2 me to be an honest mistake https://t.co/nsfGkxDzGp
— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) March 7, 2016