Maria Sharapova Admits To Failing A Drug Test At The Australian Open

Get the details here.

UPDATE 7:29 PM EST: Maria will be suspended from tennis following her failed drug test.

After her press conference on Monday, the International Tennis Federation released a statement regarding the player’s punishment.

Following regulations by its anti-doping program, the ITF announced Maria will be “provisionally suspended” starting on March 12, meaning she won’t be able to participate in the Miami Open on March 22.

The announcement didn’t release a specific length of time for the blonde’s suspension, just that it will be effective “pending determination of the case.”

You can read the full press release here.

Could this be the end of Maria Sharapova‘s career?!

On Monday, the tennis pro announced she had recently failed a drug test during this year’s Australian Open, after coming in fifth in the tournament’s Women’s Singles competition.

Photo: Maria Shows Off Her Bikini Body!

The 28-year-old said in a press conference:

“I wanted to let you know that a few days ago I received a letter from the ITF that I had failed a drug test at the Australian Open. I failed the test and take full responsibility for it.”

The blonde beauty explained that for ten years, a doctor has been prescribing her the drug Meldonium — which is not FDA-approved — for several health issues she began having back in 2006.

The sports star confessed that she had only known it by its medicinal brand name, Mildronat, rather than its scientific name, until she received the letter.

The athlete did admit that she received a letter in December of 2015 with all the changes to the World Anti-Doping Agency‘s prohibited substances, but did not look at the list of items that had been added for 2016.

The Russia native told the crowd:

“It’s very important for you to understand that for ten years, this medicine was not on WADA’s banned list, and I had been legally taking the medicine for the past ten years.”

The gorgeous gal wanted to make it clear she’s always valued her sense of integrity when it came to tennis, adding:

“Throughout my long career, I have been very open and honest about many things, and I take great responsibility and professionalism in my job every single day.”

She also appeared to feel really badly about failing the test, saying:

“I’ve made a huge mistake, and I let my fans down. I let the sport down that I’ve been playing since the age of four.”

The Olympian hopes this isn’t how her run as a professional athlete has to come to a close:

“I don’t want to end my career this way and I really hope that I will be given another chance to play this game.”

She also squashed any retirement rumors, saying:

“I know that many of you thought that I would be retiring today… but if I was ever going to announce my retirement, it would probably not be in a downtown Los Angeles hotel with this fairly ugly carpet.”

Maria explained she does not yet know what kind of consequences she will face for failing her drug test.

You can check out her full press conference (starting at around 43:28) in this video (below):

[Image via FayesVision/WENN.]

Mar 7, 2016 4:21pm PDT

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