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Maria Sharapova says she failed drug test at Australian Open

The 28-year-old Russian, a five-times grand slam champion, has struggled with a series of injuries in recent years.

Russia's Maria Sharapova reacts as she watches compatriot Ekaterina Makarova play Reuters

Former tennis world number one Maria Sharapova said on Monday that she recently received a letter saying she had failed a drug test at the Australian Open.

The 28-year-old Russian, a five-times grand slam champion, has not competed since she lost to Serena Williams in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in January and has struggled with a series of injuries in recent years.

Sharapova said she tested positive for meldonium and that she did not look at a list of banned substances for 2016 that the World Anti-Doping Agency had sent last December.

"I was first given the substance back in 2006. I had several health issues going on at the time," Sharapova told a news conference in Los Angeles.

"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."

 

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