Sharapova has failed the sport
The Russian beauty could also apply for a retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE), which allows a player to use a banned substance, if they have a medical condition.
The world woke up to the shocking news of tennis star Maria Sharapova's revelation that she had failed a drug test. It may have stunned the tennis world and her legion of fans but what it did was to provide a very important and valuable lesson that ignorance is not bliss. The Russian tested positive for the meldonium, a substance she revealed that she was taking for just over a decade for health issues. While Sharapova faithfuls may point to that, the 28-year-old was indeed informed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) in an email dated December 22, last year that the substance had made it to the list of banned substances. Meldonium was on Wada's watchlist for over a year after which the agency came to the conclusion that it does enhance performance. Wada added it to the banned list on January 1, and did send out an email with a link detailing such banned substances, but Sharapova said that she failed to "click" on it. Sharapova's legal counsel John Haggerty said that there is a "laundry list of mitigating circumstances" to reduce the sanctions that may be imposed on her.
The Russian beauty could also apply for a retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE), which allows a player to use a banned substance, if they have a medical condition. She has abnormal electrocardiogram readings and a few diabetes indicators.
But it does not absolve Sharapova and her support team from the ignorance. Sharapova is said to be the world's highest paid female athlete with the Forbes estimating her earnings at $29.5 million, with $23 million of that coming from endorsement deals. Sportswear company have already pulled the plug on their $70 million deal, so have luxury car-makers Porsche, while Swiss watch brand Tag Heuer have decided not to renew the contract. But Sharapova has a lot more to lose than this.