Sharapova tests positive for banned substance, 'I made a huge mistake'

Nike's "NYC Street Tennis" Event Featuring: Maria Sharapova Where: New York City, New York, United States When: 24 Aug 2015 Credit: Ivan Nikolov/

"I felt it was very important for me to speak about this," said Maria Sharapova, who announced in a news conference she failed a drug test related to the Australian open.

The tennis star said she had legally been taking Meldonium for "the past 10 years."

The drug was only recently banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Sharapova said she did not check when an updated list was distributed to athletes.

It is not approved by the FDA, though it is legal in Russia.

"I take great responsibility and professionalism in my job every single day. I made a huge mistake," she said.

"I let my fans down, I let the sport down."

She said she was first given the substance in 2006, blaming "several health issues," including irregular EKG results.

"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."

The news conference comes days after Sharapova announced she was pulling out of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells because of a left forearm injury.

She has suffered a string of injuries in recent years, including a right leg injury that caused her to withdrawal from the U.S. Open.

The five-time major champion hasn't competed since losing to Serena Williams in the Australian Open quarterfinals in January.

Sharapova, who is involved in numerous business ventures off the court, is currently No. 7 in the WTA rankings.

Tennis Channel is the newest addition to the Sinclair Broadcast Group.

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