On Monday, Maria Sharapova shocked the tennis world by revealing that she had failed a drug test at the Australian Open in January.
"A few days ago I got a letter from the [International Tennis Federation] that I had failed a drug test at the Australian Open,” Sharapova announced during a press conference in Los Angeles, as reported by Buzz Feed.
She revealed that she had been taking Mildronate for 10 years, before it was placed on the Federation's ban list in January unbeknownst to her.
“I was given this medicine by my doctor for several health issues I was having back in 2006,” Sharapova said, specifying everything from the flu to magnesium deficiency, irregular EKG heart results, and warning signs of early diabetes. “It made me healthy and that’s why I continued to take it."
Regardless of whether the drug could have given her an edge, it sure didn't help against Serena Williams.
Williams is 19-2 against Sharapova all-time, picking up her 18th consecutive victory over her rival with a 6-4, 6-1 drubbing at the Australian Open in late January. Overall, Williams holds 21 Grand Slam titles to Sharapova's five, so there's no real comparison.
Still, Williams commended Sharapova for her bravery to come forward with the news of her failed drug test, lending her full support.
“In sport and in life there’s always a double standard,” Williams told the media Tuesday, as reported by Buzz Feed. “Whether it’s a race thing or a sex thing [it’s] always there. As Maria said she’s ready to take full responsibility and I think that showed a lot of courage and a lot of heart.”
Already, Sharapova has bore the brunt of her failed drug test, as Nike and Porsche have both suspended their endorsement contracts with the tennis star, while the TAG Heuer watch brand decided to drop her, altogether.
That paves the way for Williams to defeat Sharapova off the court, too, as the highest-paid female athlete — a title Maria has held for over a decade.
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