Maria Sharapova Gets Served



Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova Courtesy of MCT campus

Bonnie Praphatphong, Staff Writer

This may be the final, set-match to the sport of tennis. Tennis has been through the ringer this year after reports of match-fixing, bribing officials in major tournaments, and overall corruption of the sport.

One certain incident, although, may be the most shocking to come out of the sport this year.

Tennis superstar Maria Sharapova announced on March 7th, 2016, during a news conference, that she failed a drug at the Australian Open.

“I did fail the test, and I take full responsibility for it,” Sharapova said at the conference.

Tennis fans across the world were shocked at the confession. Many were expecting her retirement in the sport of tennis just as Peyton Manning announced his retirement in football the same day. 

The five-time Grand Slam champion and one of the highest paid athletes in the world tested positive for the drug Meldonium, banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency(WADA). It was put on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Banned list just this year and held a spot on the Monitoring list last year.

The recently banned drug is not FDA approved in the United States, but is legal in Russia, the Baltic countries, and Latvia(where the drug was created).  The native Russian athlete along with many other athletes from Russia, Sweden, and Eastern Europe have tested positive for the drug.

The drug in question is predominantly used to treat people suffering from heart and blood problems. The main reason many athletes use it is because it can improve their performance by increasing blood flow.

Sharapova states the reason behind taking the drug for a decade was for her health.

She said, “I was getting sick very often,” and “I had a deficiency in magnesium. I had irregular EKG results, and I had a family history of diabetes and there were signs of diabetes.”

The world athlete’s intention is being put into question, with many having doubts. With all the scandal and drama surrounding the international tennis community, Sharapova’s answer of saying she, “did not look at that list,” may not be a good enough answer to save her career.

The consequences of a doping scandal have already been seen in many athletes, most notably, Lance Armstrong and the end of his cycling career. The failed drug test may not be the total end to her tennis career, as the investigation into Sharapova’s use of the drug is still in the beginning phases.

However, her business ventures using her name and image have already seen multi-million dollar losses. Sharapova’s relationships with Nike, Tag Heuer, and Porsche have all been damaged.

Sharapova’s future in tennis is unknown at this time, but one thing can be made clear and that is her career in tennis will forever be changed.

If Sharapova is found guilty of intentionally using the drug, then she will be banned from the sport of tennis for four or two years.