Tennis star Maria Sharapova says she failed a drug test at the Australian Open.
The five-time major champion took full responsibility for her mistake when she made the announcement at a news conference Monday in Los Angeles. The former world No. 1 doesn’t know what sanctions she will face from the International Tennis Federation.
The 28-year-old Sharapova said she tested positive for meldonium, which she said she has been taking for 10 years for numerous health issues. Meldonium became a banned substance this year under the WADA code, and Sharapova claims she didn’t notice its addition to the banned list.
“I know that with this, I face consequences,” Sharapova said. “I don’t want to end my career this way, and I really hope I will be given another chance to play this game.”
Sharapova’s penalties could range from a multiyear ban to a minimal sanction with no suspension if officials believe she made an honest mistake.
“I have to take full responsibility for it,” Sharapova said. “It’s my body, and I’m responsible for what I put into it.”