Tennis star says she has been taking Mildronate for 10 years, though it was recently added to banned substance list
Tennis star Maria Sharapova has admitted to testing positive for a banned substance at the Australian Open in January.
During a press conference Monday, Sharapova revealed that she was notified of the drug test result by the International Tennis Federation.
“I did fail the test and I take full responsibility for it,” she said.
Sharapova said she has been taking the medicine Mildronate for 10 years. The drug is also known as Meldonium and was added to the banned substance list for 2016. She was given the drug for “several health reasons” dating back to 2006, including often getting the flu and worries about diabetes.
The tennis star said she received an e-mail about the changes to the list from the World Anti-Doping Agency in December, but she did not read it.
“I made a huge mistake,” she said. “I let my fans down, I let the sport down, which I’ve been playing since the age of 4, that I love so deeply. I know that with this there are consequences. I don’t want to end my career this way. I really hope I will be given another chance to play this game.”
Sharapova said she does not yet know what the consequences of the failed drug test are, but she will be working with the ITF.