Tennis Identity

Sharapova announces failed drug test

Maria Sharapova’s press conference in LA was to announce a failed drug test at the Australian Open. Sharapova tested positive for Meldonium, a substance she has been taking since 2006 because of a magnesium deficiency and a family history of diabetes.

[Update 8:07am PT 3/8: Nike, Tag Heuer and Porsche distance themselves from Sharapova.]

There was speculation that the five time Slam winner was going to announce her retirement after so many injuries- but the style factor wasn’t present.

“I know many of you thought that I would be retiring today but if I was ever going to announce my retirement it would not be in a downtown Los Angeles hotel with this fairly ugly carpet,” she said.

“I failed the test and take full responsibility for that, said Sharapova, who won Wimbledon as a 17-year-old in 2004. “For the past 10 years I have been taking a medicine called Mildronate by my doctor, my family doctor, and a few days ago after I received the letter from the ITF [International Tennis Federation] I found out it also has another name of Meldonium, which I did not know.”

Here’s a Q&A with her attorney, John Haggerty.

“I received an email on 22 December from Wada about the changes happening to the banned list and you can see prohibited items, and I didn’t click on that link. It is very important for you to understand that for 10 years this medicine was not on Wada’s [World Anti-Doping Agency] banned list and I had been legally taking that medicine for the past 10 years.”

*Quotes from BBC Sports; feature image from Fox Sports.

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