Maria Sharapova remains determined to play again after drug test fail
MANILA, Philippines – Five-time Grand Slam tennis champion Maria Sharapova posted a long update on her Facebook status on Thursday, March 10, following her announcement of failing a dope test at the Australian Open.
Sharapova, the former world number one from Russia, tested positive for Meldonium, a drug she claims to have been taking since 2006 but was only included in the list of banned substances this year.
(READ: What is Meldonium, the drug Sharapova tested positive for?)
"I did fail the test and I take full responsibility for it," Sharapova said at a press conference at a downtown Los Angeles hotel.
"I made a huge mistake. I let my fans down. I let my sport down that I've been playing since the age of four that I love so deeply.”
The 28-year-old tennis star could face a ban up to 4 years, which would effectively end her career. She has made an estimate personal fortune of $200 million.
Her lawyer, John J. Haggerty, believes Sharapova can plead a number of mitigating circumstances after admitting to taking the substance since 2006 and being unaware that it was placed on the banned list only this past January.
(READ: Doping now shadows Maria Sharapova's rags-to-riches story)
Sharapova posted on Facebook that her inbox was “full capacity of love and compassion.”
The tennis star also mentioned that she planned to go to the gym because she “needed to sweat, to push through, and grind,” but noticed paparazzi following her.
“In this moment, I am so proud to call you my fans,” posted the winner of 35 WTA singles titles.
“Within hours of my announcement, you showed me support and loyalty, which I could only expect to hear when someone would be at the top of their profession.
“I wanted to let you know that your wonderful words put a smile on my face,” she added. “I’d like to play again and hope to have the chance to do so. Your messages give me great encouragement. This message isn't anything else but to say thank you. Thank you very much.”
View the entire post below:
I woke up yesterday morning with an inbox, in full capacity of love and compassion. The first email I immediately...Posted by Maria Sharapova on Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Sharapova’s business empire has taken a hit in the fallout, with US sportswear giant Nike, German luxury car maker Porsche, and Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer all halting their relationships with the former world number one. – Rappler.com
- What is Meldonium, the drug Sharapova tested positive for?
- Sharapova confirms failed drug test, sanction uncertain
- Doping now shadows Maria Sharapova's rags-to-riches story
- Pacquiao, Sharapova are not the first to fall out with Nike
- Sharapova business empire in doping turmoil
- Banning Meldonium is a 'human rights' violation, says drug creator
- Normal Meldonium course is 4-6 weeks - not 10 years, says manufacturer
- Serena: Sharapova 'showed a lot of courage' in drug confession
- Ex-WADA boss to BBC: Sharapova 'reckless beyond description'