Maria Sharapova has revealed she failed a drug test at the Australian Open in January.
The Russian tennis star confirmed the news in a press conference today.
Sharapova, 28, had been taking meldonium prescribed by her doctor for the past 10 years, a medicine that was not on the banned substances list.
The former world number one received an email from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on December 22 outlining the changes to the 2016 anti-doping tests that would come into effect on January 1, however she admits she did not read the updated list, which included meldonium, and tested positive for the drug at the Australian Open.
“I made a huge mistake,” she said.
“I know that with this I face consequences and I don’t want to end my career this way and I hope that will have a chance to play again.
“This is very new to me. I only received the letter a few days ago and I will be working with the ITF (International Tennis Federation).
Sharapova was also unaware that the medicine could be called meldonium, she had been taking the same prescription under the name mildronate.
A penalty has not yet been handed down by the tennis federation.
At the Australian Open, Sharapova lost to Serena Williams in the quarterfinals.
Sharapova, a five-time major champion who first won Wimbledon as a 17-year-old in 2004, is currently the 7th ranked player on the WTA tour.
She withdrew from this week’s BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells due to injury.
More to come.
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