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Breathlessly, Maria Sharapova Reveals Positive Drug Test
By Ken Miller, Lawn Tennis Analyst, Posted: Monday, May 30, 2016 10:54pm PST USA
Breathlessly, Maria Sharapova Reveals Positive Drug Test Los Angeles-- In the first week of March, word hit the internet the Russian multiple grand slam winner and highest paid female athlete ever Maria Sharapova would be holding a press conference the next day.

Then hours later, Sharapova’s website confirmed that there would indeed be an event in Los Angeles, California that following day where the Russian would make a major announcement to the press.

Because the 29 year old Sharapova had played only a handful of WTA Tour matches in the months preceding the press conference due to a left forearm injury, speculation went wild that the former world number one would announce her retirement from professional tennis.

Maria Sharapova of Russia
Lawn Tennis

The Russian looking more like a supermodel than an athlete, announced that she was not retiring from tennis as was rumored.

But when we received our invitation to the event, it was not scheduled for Beverly Hills or Bel Air, but for a middle range large but non-luxury hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

Upon entering the hotel conference room, another former world number one Lindsay Davenport of the USA was reviewing Sharapova’s tennis career for television broadcast.

A sound test was taken on the single microphone fronting the room of seated reporters.

Sharapova, dressed in a black pantsuit with her shoulder length blonde hair flowing, walked towards the microphone from a side entrance.

The Russian looking more like a supermodel than an athlete, announced that she was not retiring from tennis as was rumored.

Then Sharapova breathlessly revealed that in January at the Australian Open, she’d failed a routine drug test for meldonium, a drug that she’d been taking for the last ten years but had only in January been had to a banned list.

Sharapova said she’d received an email with a link to the updated banned supplements and drugs list but had not read it and had not been informed of it before being notified of her positive result.

The Russian took responsibility for her actions and answered a handful of questions before walking away from the microphone.

“I received a letter from the ITF that I failed a drugs test at the Australian Open,” Sharapova said.

“I take full responsibility for it. For the past ten years I have been given a medicine called mildronate by my family doctor and a few days ago after I received the ITF letter I found out that it also has another name of meldonium which I did not know. It is very important for you to understand that for ten years this medicine was not on WADA's banned list and I had legally been taking the medicine for the past ten years. But on January 1st [2016] the rules had changed and meldonium became a prohibited substance which I had not known. I was given this medicine by my doctor for several health issues that I was having in 2006.”

Sharapova played her last WTA Tour match in January and is currently serving a provisional suspension since March 12th.

The Russian; however, was this week named to Russia’s Olympic tennis team and hopes to be reinstated by the International Tennis Federation in time to compete August 6-14 at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

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