SHARAPOVA FAILS DRUG TEST IN AUSTRALIA
Maria Sharapova said Monday she had been notified by the International Tennis Federation that she tested positive for a banned substance at the Australian Open in January.
A five-time Grand Slam champion, Sharapova, 28, is one of tennis' biggest stars and has been the highest-paid female athlete for 11 straight years. She is provisionally suspended from the tour pending further action.
The usual penalty for first-time offenders is two years.
Sharapova said she had been taking Mildronate since 2006 for health issues. Mildronate, a heart medication, is also known as Meldonium, which was added to the prohibited list this year.
Sharapova said she received an email from the World Anti-Doping Agency in December that noted changes to tennis' program for 2016. She said the email including a link to a list of banned substances, but she did not look at it.
"I have to take full responsibility for it," Sharapova said at a news conference in Los Angeles. "It's my body, and I'm responsible for what I put into it."
Last fall, the agency said Meldonium was included on the prohibited list because of evidence athletes were using it to enhance performance.
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