Maria Sharapova has been provisionally banned from tennis after she revealed on Monday she tested positive at the Australian Open for a recently banned drug that she has been taking for 10 years for health reasons, The Guardian writes.
Sharapova tested positive for Meldonium, a drug she said she had been taking since 2006 but was only added to the banned list this year.
Admitting that she made a “huge mistake”, Sharapova said she received a list of prohibited items from WADA for 2016, but added she did not look at the list.
Maria continued, “I received an email on 22 December from WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency] about the changes happening to the banned list and you can see prohibited items, and I didn’t click on that link”.
Sharapova claimed she was prescribed meldonium, also known as mildronate, by her doctor in 2006 to deal with health issues such as an irregular heartbeat and a history of diabetes in her family.
Sharapova said she was cooperating with the ITF and did not yet know the extent of the sanctions she would face.
On Tuesday, Russia’s tennis chief Shamil Tarpischev called Sharapova’s failed drug test “a load of nonsense” and said he expected she would still compete at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil this summer. “I really hope that I will be given another chance to play this game”, she said. The world number seven player has been struggling with her arm injury this year, and has played only one tournament, the Australian Open.
The news came a day after Sharapova’s management team said she was going to make a “major announcement”, which had many speculating that she was going to announce her retirement from professional tennis.
Swiss watch brand Tag Heuer said it has decided not to renew its contract with the 28-year-old Russian star, while Porsche has made a decision to postpone “planned activities” with Sharapova “until further details are released and we can analyse the situation ” .
“I take full responsibility for it”. Sharapova hasn’t played since then while recovering from a forearm injury, and she had already dropped out of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, which begins this week. Nevertheless…it is every player’s responsibility to know what they put in their body and to know if it is permissible.