World’s richest female athlete, Maria Sharapova, recently announced that she failed a drug test at the Australian Open. In an attempt to get out ahead of any rumors, she held a press conference in which she stated, “I made a huge mistake.” Sharapova tested positive for meldonium, a drug that is currently banned in the US, but available in Russia and other Eastern European countries. Meldonium is sometimes used to treat heart disease and improve circulation, but, when taken in large doses, can improve oxygen uptake and increase blood flow. She stated that she had been taking meldonium during the past several years for health reasons and that meldonium was just recently added to the International Tennis Federation’s banned substance list. She took full responsibility for not noting the change and apologized to her fans and to the sport. Her future in tennis is not clear at this point, including her planned performance at the Rio Olympics this year.
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Chandler Howell is an Entertainment and Sports Highlight Contributor for the Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law and a current first year student at Harvard Law School (Class of 2018).