On Sunday, it was revealed that Maria Sharapova would make a “major announcement” in Los Angeles the following day.
Speculation ran rampant. Was she retiring? Taking time off? Beginning a new business venture?
Everyone, it seems, was fooled when the five-time Grand Slam champion informed reporters that she failed a drug test at the Australian Open.
The positive result was for meldonium, which became a banned substance just this year. Sharapova claimed that she’s been taking the drug for 10 years to combat health-related issues.
Still, the 28-year-old expressed remorse.
“I’ve let my fans down, let my sport down,” Sharapova said. “…I don’t want to end my career this way. I really hope that I will be given another chance to play this game.”
The penalty for the Russian has not been announced, but it’s almost a certainty that she’ll miss an extended period of time.