Following former world number one Maria Sharapova’s revelation on Monday that she failed a drugs test at the Australian Open on Tuesday, the world was divided with one group sympathizing with the star while another criticizing her for disregard for the regulations.
Addressing the media, the tennis star said: "I did fail the test and take full responsibility for it. For the past 10 years I have been given a medicine called mildronate by my family doctor and a few days ago after I received a letter from the ITF [International Tennis Federation] I found out it also has another name of meldonium, which I did not know."
"It is 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 that medicine for the past 10 years," she added.
However, with time her claim of this being an innocent mistake has been countered with cold facts and common sense.
A report in the Independent said Sharapova was warned at least five times in the month before she failed a drugs test that a substance she had been taking for almost her entire career was being banned.
The report had a version of the Latvian manufacturer of the drug which said that it would normally be taken for only four to six weeks at a time.
Additionally, in the same report it was mentioned that some experts questioned her motive behind using a drug that was not available in the US where she had been living since she was a young child.
Another Sports Illustrated article touched about the same point and said anyone with Internet access can find within a few keystrokes and deems the carelessness on part of the athlete as ‘remarkable’.
The Telegraph questioned who prescribed her to take the drug which was not available in the US or how she managed to get the drug.
The Guardian in its article quoted Dick Pound, World Anti-Doping Agency’s first president saying Maria Sharapova and her team to be “reckless beyond description” as he said “All the tennis players were given notification of it and she has a medical team somewhere. That is reckless beyond description.”
He even nullified the therapeutic usage excuse saying, “Most of the drugs of choice for dopers were built for therapeutic reasons – like EPO and others. That was supposed to regenerate blood if you had cancer treatment or surgical intervention if you needed to increase blood supply.”