Maria Sharapova has announced that she failed a drug test at the Australian Open earlier this year.

Maria Sharapova Failed Drug Test At Australian Open

Sharapova received a letter from the International Tennis Foundation just a few days ago stating that she had failed the test for a substance that had been legal until Jan. 1 of this year.

The tennis star had begun taking the substance, a heart medication called Meldonium, in 2006 to aid her in a variety of health problems. However, Meldonium, also known as Mildronate, was added to a list of banned drugs at the start of 2016. Sharapova claimed she failed the drug test because of ignorance, since she did not look at the list of newly banned substances for 2016 from the World Anti-Doping Association. Sharapova is at least the seventh athlete to test positive for the drug this year, a drug which has been shown to act as a performance-enhancing drug.

“I don’t want to end my career this way,” Sharapova stated. “I really hope I will be given another chance to play this game.”


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She has not competed since January’s Australian Open, where she lost to Serena Williams in the quarterfinals. Her sample was taken on Jan. 26, the same day she lost to Williams. The five-time Grand Slam Champion has suffered a string of injuries over the last few years, including one that forced her to withdraw from last year’s U.S. Open. More recently, she suffered an arm injury that forced her to pull out of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells in California.

“I have to take full responsibility for it,” Sharapova also said at a news conference in Los Angeles. “It’s my body, and I’m responsible for what I put into it.”

Sharapova, 28, is currently ranked 7th in the world, and is a former World No. 1 who has won 35 singles titles. Her five Grand Slams include two French Opens, one Wimbledon, one Australian Open, and one U.S. Open, which makes her one of only 10 women, and the only Russian woman, to hold the career Grand Slam.

Sharapova won at least one singles title every year from 2003 to 2015, a remarkable run. She has played in 733 career matches and won 80 percent of them.

Caption:MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 22: Maria Sharapova of Russia plays a backhand in her third round match against Lauren Davis of the United States during day five of the 2016 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 22, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

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