Maria Sharapova admits failing drugs test at Australian Open
Maria Sharapova has admitted to failing a drug test at the Australian Open, testing positive for Meldonium, a substance she's used since 2006.
The Russian tennis star confirmed the news at a press conference in Los Angeles on Monday.
"I know that with this I face consequences," the 28 year old said.
"I had been taking this medicine for the past 10 years, but on 1 January this became a prohibited substance which I did not know."
"I failed the test and take full responsibility for that."
The International Tennis Federation released a statement after Sharapova's admission, saying that the Russian will be suspended from the sport from March 12.
Tennis Anti-Doping Programme statement regarding Maria Sharapovahttps://t.co/ItmFaETc0U
— ITF (@ITFTennis) March 7, 2016
Here's the statement in full:
Following the statement made by Maria Sharapova in a press conference today, the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (TADP) can confirm the following:
- On 26 January 2016, Ms Sharapova provided an anti-doping sample to the TADP in association with her participation in the 2016 Australian Open.
- That sample was analysed by a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory, which returned a positive for meldonium, which is a prohibited substance under the WADA Code and, therefore also the TADP.
- In accordance with Article 8.1.1 of the TADP, Ms Sharapova was charged on 2 March with an Anti-Doping Rule Violation.
- Ms Sharapova has accepted the finding of meldonium in her sample collected on 26 January.
- As meldonium is a non-specified substance under the WADA (and, therefore, TADP) list of Prohibited Substances and Prohibited Methods, Ms Sharapova will be provisionally suspended with effect from 12 March, pending determination of the case.
"The Tennis Anti-Doping Programme is a comprehensive and internationally recognised drug-testing programme that applies to all players competing at Grand Slam tournaments and events sanctioned by the ITF, ATP, and WTA.