The tennis star tested positive for Meldonium and is refuting claims that she received five warnings about the drug
Maria Sharapova continues to defend her stance that she took Meldonium without knowing the drug had been placed on WADA's list of banned substances. The 28-year-old tennis player took to Facebook to reiterate her claims and discredit reports in the media suggesting she had been warned five times.
"A report said that I had been warned five times about the upcoming ban on the medicine I was taking. That is not true and it never happened," she said.
Sharapova says she recieved one email on the 22nd of December, 2015 regarding the drug being placed on the banned substance list and the other emails, she says, were "buried in newsletters, websites, or handouts."
The Russian-born Sharapova admits the fact that she recieved an email on December 18th entitled "Player News" but the e-mail contained "tons of information about travel, upcoming tournaments, rankings, statistics, bulletin board notices, happy birthday wishes, and yes, anti-doping information."
She goes on to outline how difficult it would have been to find the information regarding the medicine being banned by stating that, "if a player wanted to find the specific facts about medicine added to the anti-doping list, it was necessary to open the “Player News” email, read through about a dozen unrelated links, find the “Player Zone” link, enter a password, enter a username, read a home screen with more than three dozen different links covering multiple topics, find the “2016 Changes to Tennis Anti-Doping Program and Information” link, click on it and then read a page with approximately three dozen more links covering multiple anti-doping matters. Then you had to click the correct link, open it up, scroll down to page two and that’s where you would find a different name for the medication I was taking."
Sharapova finished the post on her Facebook page by thanking her fans and leaving the possibility of never playing again out in the open due to the fact that a four year ban could be handed down when all facts of the case have been taken into account.
She said, "I’m proud of how I have played the game. I have been honest and upfront. I won’t pretend to be injured so I can hide the truth about my testing,
"I look forward to the ITF hearing at which time they will receive my detailed medical records,
"I hope I will be allowed to play again. But no matter what, I want you, my fans, to know the truth and have the facts."