Former world no 1 and five-times grand slam champion Maria Sharapova, has admitted she failed a drug test at the Australian Open due to a substance called Meldoniun. She has been taking the drug for the past ten years due to health issues and the substance was only banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency as of January 1.
The 28-year-old Russian tennis player held a press conference this evening where she the delivered major announcement as against the expectation of people who believed that she was going to retire due injury problems.
"I received a letter from the ITF that I failed a drugs test at the Australian Open," said Sharapova. "I take full responsibility for it.
"For the past 10 years I have been given a medicine called mildronate by my family doctor and a few days ago after I received the ITF letter I found out that it also has another name of meldonium which I did not know.
"It is very important for you to understand that for 10 years this medicine was not on Wada's banned list and I had legally been taking the medicine for the past 10 years.
"But on January 1st the rules had changed and meldonium became a prohibited substance which I had not known."
"I made a huge mistake. I let my fans down and I let the sport down. I have been playing since the age of four a sport that I love so deeply," Maria Sharapova told news conference in Los Angeles.
"I know that with this I face consequences and I don't want to end my career this way. I really hope that I will be given another chance to play this game."