In a Facebook post Friday, Maria Sharapova responded to recent reports following her failed drug test.
According to reports, Sharapova was warned five times about the addition of the drug Meldonium to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances prior to her recent failed test. She faces a potential ban from tennis as a result, with an ITF hearing pending.
Sharapova detailed how often she took the drug, and explained that many of the warnings she received were via emails that made the pertinent information difficult to locate or come across without significant digging through links and logging into a password-protected site.
From her post:
In other words, in order to be aware of this “warning”, you had to open an email with a subject line having nothing to do with anti-doping, click on a webpage, enter a password, enter a username, hunt, click, hunt, click, hunt, click, scroll and read. I guess some in the media can call that a warning. I think most people would call it too hard to find.
Sharapova also mentioned a “wallet card” distributed at tournaments that contained pertinent information in small print, attaching photos. “No excuses,” she wrote, “but it’s wrong to say I was warned five times.”
Finally, she detailed how often she took the drug.
There was also a headline that said, “4-6 Weeks Normal Treatment for Drug in Maria Sharapova Case.” That headline has been repeated by many reporters who fail to tell their viewers and readers what the rest of the story says. The story quotes the manufacturer of my medicine as saying: “Treatment course can be repeated twice or thrice a year. Only physicians can follow and evaluate patient's health condition and state whether the patient should use meldonium for a longer period of time."
That’s exactly what I did. I didn’t take the medicine every day. I took it the way my doctor recommended I take it and I took it in the low doses recommended.
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Sharapova wrote that she hopes to play tennis again and maintained she had been “honest and upfront” about her usage and prescription.
Read the entire post here.