In a major and shocking press conference held today, international tennis superstar Maria Sharapova announced that she had failed the drug test at the Australian Open. She revealed that she got the news via a letter from ITF (International Tennis Federation) a few days back. The substance found in her body is known as Meldonium, a prohibited substance added to WADA’s (World Anti Doping Agency) this year.
Maria claimed that she has been taking a drug called Mildronat for last 10 years which is based on Meldonium. It was prescribed by her family doctor in 2006 to take care of her frequent bouts of flu, irregular EKG and an onset of diabetes. Maria said that the drug was not on WADA’s prohibition list earlier but it has been added since 1st January, 2016. ITF had sent a mail to her listing the prohibited drugs for 2016 on 22nd December, 2015 but she did not look at the list. “I made a huge mistake.” said Maria.
When asked what the consequences are for the failed test, Maria said she was not sure at the moment and she would work alongside ITF in the matter. “I have to take full responsibility of it because it’s my body and it’s what I put into my body. And I can’t blame anyone for it but myself no matter who I am working with,” said Maria. Maria also clarified that she has no plans of retiring as of now. “I know many of you thought that I would be retiring today and announcing my retirement. But if I was ever going to announce my retirement it will probably not be in a downtown Los Angeles hotel with this fairly ugly carpet,” she quipped.
The 29 year old Russian tennis star is a former world no. 1 player and an Olympic medal winner. She is one of the only 10 female tennis players to have completed a career grand slam. She is Tennis Channel’s one of the 100 greatest of all time and Time magazine’s one of the 30 legends of Women’s tennis. In recent years, her rivalry with Serena Williams of United States has been a spectacle enjoyed by millions of fans worldwide.
Watch The Full Press Conference: