Tennis star Maria Sharapova called a press conference at the LA Hotel in downtown Los Angeles today to reveal that she failed a drug text at the recent Australian Open. She said she was informed by the International Tennis Federation of the drug test and said it was a prescription medicine she has been taking for ten years, Meldonium, that was added to the banned list at the start of 2016.
News of the sudden presser raised speculation that Sharapova, 28, would announce she is quitting tennis. But she said, "I don’t want to end my career this way and really hope that I’ll be given another chance....I made a huge mistake. I let the sport down that I’ve been playing since the age of 4, that I love so deeply.”
She also joked that she would never announce her retirement "in a downtown LA hotel with this fairly ugly carpet." So here it is: the carpet.
This is the carpet that Maria Sharapova found ugly at her press conference. pic.twitter.com/51oNkP0rcF— Les Carpenter (@Lescarpenter) March 7, 2016
Sharapova was immediately suspended pending further action. Drug bans can be as long as two years for accidental use and four years for intention use of forbidden substances. There is also the possibility of no sanctions. She and her attorney said they have not talked yet with tennis officials about that.