Maria Sharapova has announced that she failed a drug test taken back in January at the Australian Open.
The 28-year-old tennis player did not know that a drug she was legally using in the past had just been added to the prohibited substance list in January.
“I did fail the test and I take full responsibility for it. For the past ten years, I have been given a medicine called Mildronate by my family doctor and a few days ago after I received the ITF letter I found out that it also has another name of Meldonium, which I did not know,” Maria said during a press conference on Monday (March 7). “It’s very important for you to understand that for 10 years this medicine was not on the banned list and I had been legally taking the medicine for the past 10 years.”
“On January 1, the rules have changed and Meldonium became a prohibited substance, which I had not known,” Maria added. “I was given this medicine by my doctor for several health issues I was having in 2006.”
Some of the issues that Maria faced included the flu every couple months and the evidence of diabetes, which runs in her family.
“I know with this that I face consequences,” Maria continued. “I don’t want to end my career this way, and I really hope that I will be given another chance to play this game. I know many of you thought that I would be announcing my retirement, but if I was ever going to announce my retirement, it wouldn’t be in a downtown Los Angeles hotel with this fairly ugly carpet.”
Maria Sharapova Announces She Failed a Drug Test