99 athletes have already tested positive for meldonium this year

Maria Sharapova admitted to testing positive for meldonium earlier this week

99 athletes have already tested positive for meldonium this year

Dominic Lipinski / PA Wire/Press Association Images

The world of tennis and beyond was left in disarray this week when tennis pro Maria Sharapova admitted to taking a banned substance which has performance enhancing properties.

Sharapova revealed that she had been taking meldonium for the last 10 years, a substance which was declared a banned substance at the beginning of this year by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

In a press conference, the five-time-grand-slam winner said she took the drug for medical purposes including heart related issues and for the early signs of diabetes but that she tested positive for meldonium at the Australian Open.

The Russian born tennis player was informed of this update on five separate occasions, which Sharapova said she was unaware of.

And now it appears that some 99 athletes have also tested positive for meldonium so far this year. A spokesperson from the World Anti-Doping Agency told the Associated Press that since the drug was banned on Jan. 1 'there have been 99 adverse analytical findings for Meldonium recorded.'

No details were provided as to the identities of the athletes although it has been made known that seven of the 16 confirmed cases come from Russian athletes, including Sharapova.