“I made a huge mistake,” she said. “I have let my fans down and let the sport down that I have been playing since the age of four, that I love so deeply.
“I know that with this I face consequences and I don’t want to end my career this way. I really hope to be given another chance to play this game.”
As if putting Maria Sharapova on provisional suspension wasn’t enough disgrace, her major sponsors, Nike, Swiss watch brand Tag Heuer and German luxury car company Porsche, are cutting ties with the Russian tennis star.
She has already admitted to the use of Meldonuim in the past ten years but stressed she never knew it had been banned.
The drug was officially included in the anti-doping list 1 year ago. She failed the doping test in January at the Australian Open.
Image: Maria Saharapova celebrates victory.
The corporate move to shun the 28-year old was upheld despite recommendations from International Tennis Federation or the World Anti-Doping Agency that any sanctions on the Russian tennis star would be too early.
“WADA is of course aware of the Maria Sharapova case (where she tested positive for the banned drug meldonium). It’s our policy, with all cases, not to comment until the process has been completed and a decision has been given by the relevant authorities, in this case the International Tennis Federation (ITF). At that stage, we step in and we have an independent right of appeal, and we look at the case and decide whether or not we wish to use that appeal.”
Within this week, two high-profile Russian athletes have tested positive to Meldonium. A Russian dancer was first before Maria Sharapova.
Image: Maria Sharapova in action.
The events is a pointer that Meldonium is widely-prescribed in Russia for heart problems. However, just like every other drug that can be abused, Meldonium also acts as an ‘endurance enhancer’.
Let justice follow the due course but we pray it is tampered with mercy.