Former world number one Maria Sharapova has announced that she failed a drug test at the Australian Open in a shock press conference on Monday in Los Angeles, California.
"I don't want to end my career this way. I really hope that I will be given another chance to play this game," Sharapova said at the press conference.
Sharapova took Meldonium legally for 10 years which became a prohibited substance on January 1st. She said that she takes full responsibility for this mishap. "I failed the test and take full responsibility for that. I do not know the consequences yet," Sharapova added.
She had earlier scheduled a news conference to make a "major announcement," initially raising questions about her tennis future after months of nagging injuries.
The 28-year-old Russian has played in only three WTA Tour events over the past eight months and has not taken to the court competitively since losing to Serena Williams in the Australian Open quarter-finals in January.
Sharapova, ranked seventh, withdrew from the upcoming event at Indian Wells due to a left forearm injury.
She missed last year's US Open because of a right leg injury that curtailed her tournament schedule for the remainder of the 2015 campaign.
Sharapova is involved in several business ventures off the court, notably her "Sugarpova" candy line, and won a silver medal for Russia at the 2012 London Olympics.
She has won 35 career WTA titles and is among 10 women who owns a career Grand Slam. She won the 2004 Wimbledon crown, the 2006 US Open title, the 2008 Australian Open and the 2012 and 2014 French Opens.
But in between her success, she has often been plagued by injury, notably long running problems with her shoulder.
First Published On : Mar 8, 2016 01:45 IST