Former world number one Maria Sharapova has revealed she failed a drugs test at the Australian Open. The Russian, 28, tested positive for meldonium, a substance she has been taking since 2006 for health issues.
Sharapova, who won Wimbledon as a 17-year-old in 2004, said;
“I failed the test and take full responsibility for that,””I had been taking this medicine for the past 10 years, but on 1 January this became a prohibited substance which I did not know.” “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.” “I made a huge mistake,””I know I face consequences and I didn’t want to end my career this way. I hope I will be given the chance to play this game again.”
Sharapova is ranked seventh in the world but has played just four tournaments since Wimbledon last July as she has struggled with an arm injury.
Her most recent match was a defeat by Serena Williams at the Australian Open in January, but Sharapova, who turns 29 in April, hopes to be able to return to tennis in the future.