Maria Sharapova Suspended From Tennis After Failing Drug Test

Maria Sharapova dropped a huge bombshell on the tennis world on Monday after she admitted that she had tested positive for Meldonium, a newly-banned substance, at January’s Australian Open.

The five-times Grand Slam champion made a personal statement at a Los Angeles hotel, confessing that she had been caught by tennis’ anti-doping operation. Many assumed that the press conference was for Sharapova to announce her retirement after numerous injuries, according to the Daily Mail.

Meldonium, also known as Mildronate, became prohibited on January 1 of this year. The highest earning athlete in any female sport stated that she had been taking the drug for the last 10 years. It is known as a drug that can help an athlete’s endurance and rehabilitation, according to People.

“I did fail the test and I take full responsibility for it.” Sharapova said at the press conference. “I have let me fans down, and let the sport down that I have been playing since the age of four…I know that with this I face consequences and I don’t want to end my career this way.”

According to The International Tennis Federation (ITF), Sharapova “will be provisionally suspended with effect from 12 March, pending determination of the case.” The penalty for first-time offenders is usually two years.

The full statement from the ITF indicated that Sharapova accepted the charge made against her.

You can watch the press conference below.

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