Former world number one Maria Sharapova has made a sensational revelation that she had failed a drugs test at the Australian Open.
The 28-year-old Russian, a five-time Grand Slam champion tested positive for meldonium, a substance she has been taking since 2006 for health issues.
She will be provisionally suspended from 12 March pending further action, reported BBC sports website.
Sharapova, who had won Wimbledon title at the age of 17 in 2004, said, “I did fail the test and 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 a letter from the ITF [International Tennis Federation] I found out it also has another name of meldonium, which I did not know.”
Sharapova said that she had no intention to announce her retirement.
She said, “Many of you thought that I will 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 fairly ugly carpet.”
Sports Illustrated quoted Sharapova’s lawyer, John Haggerty saying that he was attempting to speak to the ITF because “we think there is a laundry list of extremely mitigating circumstances that once taken into consideration would result in dramatically reducing any sanction that they might want to impose on Maria.”
Renowned sports brand Nike announced that they had suspended their relationship with Maria Sharapova after failed drug test.
The Nike statement said, “We are saddened and surprised by the news about Maria Sharapova. We have decided to suspend our relationship with Maria while the investigation continues. We will continue to monitor the situation.”