Instead, Sharapova dropped a startling admission: She had failed a recent drug test for the Australian Open.
Sharapova’s drug test results came back positive for meldonium, a drug used to treat heart problems. Though the substance is widely available in Europe, it was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list on Jan. 1.
The tennis player confirmed that she has been taking the drug for 10 years, as prescribed by her doctor. Sharapova also said she received an email on Dec. 22, 2015, informing her of changes to WADA’s list but that she had not examined it.
‘I made a huge mistake’
“I take great responsibility and professionalism in my job, and I made a huge mistake,” Sharapova said during her press conference. “I let my fans down. I let the sport down that I’ve been playing since the age of 4, that I love so deeply.”
The Tennis Anti-Doping Program said in a statement that Sharapova will be provisionally suspended starting March 12, pending the decision on her case.