Sharapova tested positive for meldonium, a drug that is commonly used to treat diabetes and low magnesium.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) only banned the substance this January as they found that it is linked to increased athletic performance and endurance and can also help recovery.
Addressing the issue at a press conference Sharapova said:
“I made a huge mistake. I let my fans down and I let the sport down, I take full responsibility for it. 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,”
Sharapova also explained that she ‘received an email on 22 December from WADA about the changes happening to the banned list and you can see prohibited items’ but she didn’t click on that link and thus didn’t know about it.
Sharapova, is the seventh athlete in a month to test positive for meldonium and faces provisional suspension from March 12 till further enquiry.
At present ITF’s anti-doping program calls for a four-year suspension for a positive test, but the length of the ban is determined by various factors and thus the ban can be reduced in various circumstances.