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Maria Sharapova Settled The Doubts About His Positive Test

by Daniel Gerbick on Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

Maria SharapovaThe Russian, who has won five Grand Slams, has been consuming the drug Meldonium for over 10 years. The substance has been banned since January this year: “I made a mistake, but do not want to finish my career like this”

Sharapova, during a press conference in Los Angeles. Wearing all black, on a stage without ornamentation and delivering from a lectern, Maria Sharapova settled the doubts in one fell swoop about all the speculation that was raised one day before her call in a Los Angeles hotel. The 28 year old Russian, removed suspicions on retiring or being pregnant, as was the general guess in social networks agitated by the sudden summons from the player. Sharapova, a commercial icon of women’s tennis over the last decade, appeared before the media to announce that she had tested positive in a doping control carried out in the latest edition of the Australian Open, just over a month ago.

Specifically, the test that was carried out by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) last January 26, detected Meldonium, a drug that the Russian admitted, she has consumed for over 10 years to control her diabetes. Sharapova acknowledged last December she had received a newsletter from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which indicated that the substance would be included in the list of banned substances on January 1, 2016, but the seventh in the world, said, did not think twice on it.

“I made a big mistake. I disappointed my fans and the sport that I practice since I was four years old and I’ve loved so deeply,” said the Russian, former number one in the world (21 weeks) and possessing five Grand Slam titles ( Australia open, Roland Garros (2), Wimbledon and US open). “But I do not want to end my career like this. I hope to have another opportunity to play tennis,” said Masha, who must now wait for the punishment of the ITF. For the current regulations it could be extended to four years, but the collaboration can serve as a mitigating factor for the tennis player. For now, the governing body of world tennis imposed on March 2nd a “provisional sanction is pending a final determination”, which comes into force on the 12th.

This year, Sharapova had only been able to compete in Melbourne. She injured her left forearm, she resigned to participate in both Brisbane and Doha, and a few days ago had also anticipated that would not play in the Indian Wells, which begins this week. “I was saddened to hear this news about Maria,” said a statement by Steve Simon, executive director of the WTA; “She is a leader and a woman of great integrity. However, it is the responsibility of all players to know what they put in their bodies and know what is permitted.”

The Meldonium marketed under the name Mildronate was discovered by a Latvian researcher in the seventies. According to studies, this drug increases the strength of athletes, helps in recovery after exercise protects against stress and improves the activation of the central nervous system.

Sharapova admitted in this gloomy scenario, she has been taking it since 2006. “…sick very often and had a lack of magnesium, a family history of diabetes and signs that could I have this disease. This was one of the drugs they gave me, with others, ” she specified.

“Beyond the doctors and the team around me, I’m responsible,” concluded the Russian businesswoman (Sugarpova candy company) and commercial icon (signed with Nike for 11 years). A fierce competitor who molded her tennis since she was seven years old at the prestigious Nick Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton (Florida). There she emigrated with his father, Yuri, and from there cemented a shiny path that includes the four majors, 35 individual trophies and an Olympic silver (2012). From now on, too, an important blur. The strenuous shadow of doping.

Sharapova Victories

– Five major championships: 2004 Wimbledon, 2006 US Open, Australian Open 2008, Roland Garros 2012 and 2014.

– 35 WTA singles titles. Record of 601-145.

– Female Masters 2004.

– Reached number one on August 22nd 2005. Which she defended for 21 weeks.

– Silver in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

– Gains throughout her career: USD 36,766,149 (33,363,473 euros).

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