Tennis star, Sharapova, in doping scandal

FILE PHOTO: Russia's Maria Sharapova celebrates after winning against Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova during their final match of the Fed Cup tennis tournament in Prague, Czech Republic, November 15, 2015. REUTERS/David W Cerny

> World Female Tennis star, Maria Sharapova, is presently entangled in a doping scandal having revealed that she failed a drugs test at the last Australian Open.

> The 28-year-old called an unscheduled press conference in Los Angeles for Monday where many had tipped the Russian to announce her retirement but that turned out not to be the case as the five-time Grand Slam champion instead confirmed that she had tested positive for a banned substance at the first major event of the year.

> Addressing the media, Sharapova claimed that she had been taking a medicine prescribed by her doctor for the past decade that was not included on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of performance-enhancing substances.

> However, it was then duly added on January 1, 2016 – something the right-hander said she failed to check.

> “I received a letter on December 22 from WADA for the changes next year and where the tests will be with a link to the changes for 2016. I did not look at that list,” she admitted. “I failed the test and take full responsibility for that.”

> The world number seven was unable to provide any details regarding a potential ban, although she did stress that she hoped to play again, rather than be forced into retirement.

> Sharapova first made the headlines in 2004 when, aged 17, she became the third youngest woman to win Wimbledon.

> Overtime, she punctuated the dominance of the William sisters; especially Serena on the tennis court.

> Meanwhile, the International Tennis Federation confirmed that Sharapova will be provisionally suspended from March 12, pending further action.

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Tunde Eludini is a graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Nigeria where he studied International Relations. He is a Senior Correspondent coordinating the sports section for PREMIUM TIMES. Twitter@tundeyeludini

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