The Russian player tested positive for a banned substance at the Australian Open
The number of supporters for Maria Sharapova continues to dwindle in numbers in the days after her astonishing revelation that she failed a doping test.
While her rival Serena Williams offered sympathy to Sharapova, Andy Murray was more pragmatic about the meldonium controversy.
Murray reasoned that if an athlete is using medication for purposes other than what they are intended for, they are cheating.
''If you’re taking a prescription drug and you’re not using it for what that drug was meant for, then you don’t need it, so you’re just using it for the performance-enhancing benefits that drug is giving you. And I don’t think that that’s right.''
And now another pro player has added her name to the group of Maria Sharapova dissenters. French tennis player Kristina Mladenovic said:
''All the players are saying she's a cheater. You sure doubt and think that she didn’t deserve all she won until now. That’s dreadful, but it’s good that it’s finally out. As far as I am concerned if I take an aspirin I worry 10 times about what I do. She’s been taking this drug for 10 years and it’s a serious drug.
She has played with the rules and thought, if it’s not banned, then I can take it. For me that’s very disappointing. I don’t like the mentality to be the best by playing with the rules. She can play with words and find a good lawyer but on the principles of the situation, she’s wrong,” Mladenovic told the French newspaper Le Parisien. “She has no excuse that can defend what she’s done. For me there’s no doubt.''
Maria Sharapova tested positive for a substance called meldonium, which was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency list of prohibited substances, at the beginning of this year. It was on the WADA watch-list for all of last year and while reports suggest that Sharapova was sent five separate notifications about the update, she has denied that this took place.