In WTA history, the name Maria Sharapova has been somewhat washed down by critics parading on her otherwise applaudable achievements.
The former Russian tennis professional who is the proud holder of 5 Grand Slam titles under her belt has been subject to numerous controversies surrounding her unethical conduct which eventually led her to be slapped with a temporary ban.
Discussing the events surrounding the same, Maria in an interview gave her insight and provided fans with a detailed explanation behind her belief of not deserving such harsh treatment from the authorities.
In an exclusive one-on-one interview with TODAY, Maria was asked to delegate her thoughts behind her assessment of making an honest mistake to which she said “My first instinct was I need to go to the world and I need to tell the truth and what happened. I am very proud of the moment because what I said from the first day is what I am saying now.”
The interviewer further asked her to reveal her thoughts on whether the ITF slapping her with a two-year ban over an honest mistake sounded just and appropriate to her for which the Russian did not hold back from giving her blunt opinion.
“A two-year ban I don’t think was correct. I had admitted my mistake, I also knew that there was a responsibility that the ITF and other organizations had to notify me of new prohibited substances, especially when someone was taking a substance that was completely legal for ten years,” spoke Sharapova in context to receiving unfair treatment.
Despite acknowledging and adhering to multiple guidelines set straight for players competing in the professional tennis circuit, Maria was surrounded by major backlash from the community after the news of her doping ban broke out.
What was the Maria Sharapova doping scandal about?
The global tennis community in March 2016 was left shocked when Maria Sharapova revealed the news that she had tested positive for the cardiac drug Meldonium at the Australian Open.
The sporting world nightmare came to light after Sharapova revealed her 10-year prescribed history with the substance and was not notified by the ITF when they added Meldonium to the banned list in January 2016, and later issued a 2-year ban on her in June that year.
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After filing an appeal and pleading her case having received unjust treatment, Maria had her two-year ban reduced to 15 months on October 4, 2016, by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.