Maria Sharapova was commended by fellow tennis player Serena Williams after showing a lot of courage in owning up to her failed drug test. The Russian star has confirmed on Monday that she was found positive on the day that she lost to Williams during the Australian Open quarterfinals in January.
Promoting an exhibition at Madison Square Garden, Williams said at a news conference on Tuesday that she was surprised when she heard the news regarding Sharapova. But Williams was happy about Sharapova’s courage and honesty.
Sharapova confirmed that she was found positive in the drug test, for a blood flow-promoting drug called meldonium which she confessed taking for 10 years now due to different health issues. Meldonium has been banned because it promotes endurance and oxygen uptake. Last December, the players have been notified regarding the changes made in the list of WADA banned substances. Sharapova said that she just neglected to view the link, People reported.
She could be facing a long ban from the International Tennis Federation and prevent her also from joining the Olympics.
Both Williams and Sharapova have had a few bad words for each other off the court in the past, yet this time, Williams was in full support. Although Sharapova is among her biggest competitors based on the player’s results, Williams dominated the series, winning the last 18 meetings for more than 10 years, BBC reported.
Sharapova also got the support of Caroline Wozniacki, the two-time Grand Slam finalist who will be facing Williams on Tuesday for the exhibition. Wozniacki shared the same feelings as Williams about Sharapova’s announcement. However, she believes that as players, they always have to make sure that there is nothing in any medication that they take. She also added that they need to double, triple and even quadruple check the list because, at times, certain medications like nasal sprays or cough drops can be included in the list.