Maria Sharapova has said that players who have called for her to face a lifetime ban are not basing their arguments on facts. The Russian, who is doing the media rounds following the release of her book Unstoppable, told the BBC that players like Genie Bouchard do not know the full story behind her meldonium ban.
“I think those are comments not based on facts and I do not take them into consideration,” Sharapova said when asked about Bouchard, in particular.
During the interview, Sharapova was asked why she started taking the drug in the first place.
“After my first Grand Slam I was not very healthy for a long period of time,” Sharapova continued. “I went to see a children’s doctor back in Russia – I was still a teenager.
In another interview, Maria was asked whether she liked Serena…
Q Do you like Serena? Maria Sharapova: I respect Serena pic.twitter.com/RfUDFGD6Fa
— dupla greska (@duplagreska) September 14, 2017
“He ran some tests and said I had some abnormalities in my heart. That was one of the supplements he recommended I take. It was very commonly used in Russia and we received certificates to say it was okay to take.
“Ultimately it became illegal to use in the first few weeks of last year.”
Pushed further on why she continued to take the substance after receiving an email from the ITF that it had been banned, Sharapova again attacked the Federation’s lack of clarity on the issue.
“They [attachments in an email] were really varied and hidden and those are not the types of attachments that any players open up, if you ask them,” Sharapova opined. “It was not noticeable at all, they did not make an effort to show us. It was a very commonly used supplement in Eastern Europe and that should have been flagged.”
Sharapova has struggled since returning to the game after her 15-month suspension. The Russian, who has been forced to miss a number of tournaments because of injury, recently made the fourth round of the US Open.
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