At a press conference in Los Angeles yesterday 7 March, 2016 Maria Sharapova announced that she failed a doping test at the Australian Open in January.
She has been handed a provisional suspension starting this Saturday.
The 28-year-old admitted that she tested positive for Meldonium but stressed that she has been on the same drug for 10 years due to health issues.
She claims ignorance that Meldonium, to her, isn’t for enhancement purposes. However, the drug was added to the anti-doping list this year.
“For the past ten years, I have been given a medicine called Mildronate (Meldonium) by my doctor, by my family doctor, and a few days ago after I received the ITF letter, I found out that it also has a name of Meldonium which I did not know. It’s very important for you to understand that for ten years this medicine was not on WADA’s banned list and I had been legally taking the medicine for the past 10 years.”
Sharapova believes she’s not losing hope on her career too soon. She suggested that no sign of retirement is in her plans yet and that she still wants to get back on the court.
“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.”
Still struggling with a forearm injury she sustained on the court, Sharapova is has been on rest ever since she lost to Serena Williams in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.