Maria Sharapova has been taking Meldonium since 2006 for health reasons, which listed as banned substance on January 1st 2016. Maria didn’t try to talk her way out of this life-altering trouble after her drug test came out positive. She admitted that it was given by her family doctor, but she knows it by a different name.
“I did fail the test and take full responsibility for it,” she said. Her honesty already caused her big corporate contracts and she could face a four-year ban from playing Tennis by ITF.
In Forbes list, Maria stands as the highest-earning female athlete in the world in each of the past 11 years.
Other than Tennis and Modeling she has been face of brands like Sony Ericsson and Sony Mobiles, Samsung, Nike and Tag Heuer. Her career earnings from tennis alone amount to almost £26m.
This could change since as of now Nike ended their association with her until investigation completed. Tag Heuer are not extending her contract. Porsche halted on their planned activities involving Maria and a mineral water company Evian will ‘closely follow’ the investigation.
On other side of story, many renown figures including Serena Williams are speaking in favor of Maria’s honesty.
Her ex-coach Bollettieri said he believed former world number one Sharapova had made a “very honest mistake. She said she took these for many, many years and then didn’t read the memorandum that came out.”
“I don’t think that Maria Sharapova would continue doing something, especially being in the limelight, if there was something she knew about.” he added.
“Most people were surprised and shocked but happy that she was upfront and very honest. It’s just taking responsibility, which she admitted she was ready to do.” said by Serena Williams.
Former World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) president isn’t very happy of seeing others praising Maria’s statement.
“If it had been a spontaneous acknowledgement that she had taken this stuff and somehow didn’t realise it was a banned substance (you could praise her honesty), but she got caught,” he said during an interview at the Tackling Doping in Sport Conference in London.
“She tested positive. She’s advised of a positive (test) outcome. There’s a protection for athletes in the system — if you think it’s a bad analysis, you can analyse the B sample. She said, ‘No, not necessary. I acknowledge that I’ve taken it.’ So you’ve been caught.”
It seems her only way out of career threatening ban is proving her honesty and providing evidence that she has a condition that required the prescription of this treatment.