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Maria Sharapova failed drug test at 2016 Australian Open

"I made a huge mistake. I let my fans down and I let the sport down.”

Former tennis world No. 1 Maria Sharapova has revealed she failed a drug test at the 2016 Australian Open.

"A few days ago I received a letter from the ITF that I had failed a drug test at the Australian Open. I failed the test and I take full responsibility for it," the 28-year-old said.

"For the past 10 years I have been given a medicine called Mildronate by my doctor, my family doctor, and a few days ago after I received the letter I found out that it also has another name of Meldonium which I did not know".

Meldonium is used to treat diabetes and low magnesium and Sharapova is at least the seventh athlete to test positive for the drug this year.

"It's very important for you to understand that for 10 years this medicine was not on WADA's banned list and I had been legally taking the medicine for the past 10 years," Sharapova said.

"But on January 1st the rules had changed and Meldonium became a prohibited substance which I had not known."

"I made a huge mistake. I let my fans down and I let the sport down. I have been playing since the age of four a sport that I love so deeply," Sharapova said.

"I know that with this I face consequences and I don't want to end my career this way. I really hope that I will be given another chance to play this game.

"I was first given the substance back in 2006. I had several health issues going on at the time.

"I was getting sick very often and I had a deficiency in magnesium and a family history of diabetes and there were signs of diabetes. That is one of the medications, along with others, that I received."

No penalty has yet been announced for Sharapova.

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