Russian tennis icon Maria Sharapova failed a drug test at the Australian Open because she tested positive for meldonium, a drug that was banned on Jan. 1 this year!
The five-time Grand Slam champion will be suspended starting March 12. She is the seventh athlete in a month to test positive for meldonium, which is used to treat diabetes and low magnesium, and was only banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as of Jan. 1.
Sharapova had been prescribed this medicine by her family doctor to treat her magnesium deficiency and a family history of diabetes. She had been consuming this drug legally since past ten years until WADA changed its rules early this year.
Meldonium, also known as mildronate, helps prevent ischemia and is also used to treat brain circulation disorders. While the drug improves the users’ mood and allows them to become more active, the iconic tennis star consumed the drug only for health issues.
The highest earning athlete in any female sport, Maria Sharapova was a teenage tennis prodigy who became the third-youngest Wimbledon champion. While Nike, one of Sharapova’s biggest sponsors has suspended all ties with the ace player in course of her investigation, we really hope the former tennis player is given another chance to pursue her sport!