Maria Sharapova Reveals Failing a Drug Test at Australian Open (VIDEO) - UBITENNIS
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Maria Sharapova Reveals Failing a Drug Test at Australian Open (VIDEO)

Maria Sharapova will be provisionally suspended starting on March 12. The Russian shocked the tennis world on Monday announcing that she has tested positive to a drug test at the recent Australian Open. Denying rumors of retirement, the 5-time Grand Slam champion took full responsibility and explained how the substance only recently entered the banned lit of substances compiled by WADA.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAVWgcSr-Ik

 

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With a statement, the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (TADP) has announced that Maria Sharapova will be provisionally suspended with effect from 12 March, pending determination of the case.

‘If I were to announce my retirement it wouldn’t have been in this LA downtown hotel with fairly ugly carpet” said Maria Sharapova in the press conference she organized on Monday to admit to the world that she has failed a drug test this January in Australia, resulting positive to Meldonium, a substance that was added to WADA’s banned list on January 1st this year.

Speculations about Sharapova retiring from tennis started raising on Sunday afternoon, as soon as on the official website of Maria Sharapova it was announced that the Russian was going to set a live press conference on Monday March 7th, from Los Angeles to make an announcement.

The news soon spread on social media, with experts and journalists assuming Maria could have decided to call it a career, aged 28. The Russian had decided to pull out of the tournament of Indian Wells few weeks ago with a forearm  injury, just the last of a series of physical problems the Russian has had to deal with lately. Sharapova had to pull put of the US Open last year and only played in Wuhan, the WTA Finals and in Fed Cup in the last part of 2015, competing in a total of just 4 events in 6 months.

Maria started the 2016 season having to pull out of Brisbane, where she was defending champion, but still managed to reach the quarter-finals at the Australian Open before losing once again to Serena Williams.

All rumors have now officially failed to find confirmation. The 5-time Grand Slam champion, one of the biggest competitors the sport has ever witness on a tennis court, has decided to come clean and reveal that she was tested positive at the Australian Open for a medicine she had been taking for 10 years, since 2006, but that entered the forbidden list for WADA starting on January 1st 2016.

Meldonium and its benefits for professional athletes 

The substance Maria has tested positive for is Meldonium an anti-ischemic used in the treatment of heart diseases. Maria had been taking the drug legally for 10 years for magnesium deficiency after a family history of diabetes.

Meldonium is a drug that wasn’t initially banned on the ATP and WTA tours, despite its ability to help increase the endurance performance of athletes.

Sharapova revealed that when she started taking the drug in 2006, she was had many health problems, including sings of diabetes.

Maria’s quotes

Here is what Maria told to the media during her press conference today in Los Angeles, which was broadcast live on You Tube.

”I received a letter from WADA with changes made in the rules in December, but I did not look at that list. I take full responsibility. I don’t want to end my career with this and I hope I will be given another chance to play the sport I love. I don’t know yet what is going to happen, but I will be in contact with the ITF to understand the further developments. I have let my fans down and the sport I love so much and I have been playing since I was 4 years old down”.

https://twitter.com/ESPNTennis/status/706937047471276033

It is not yet known which consequences the Russian will face for the failed drug test. As far as now not even Maria herself knows what is going to happen. Sharapova revealed she is still healing from her forearm injury which forced her to pull off at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells this week.

Both Sharapova’s parents, Yuri and Yelena, were in Los Angeles to support Maria in such a tough moment, clearly the hardest moment the Russian has had to face in her life and career as a professional tennis players.

On the same day as Sharapova another Russian sports’ star, ice dancing champion Ekaterina Bobrova failed a drug test, testing positive to the same substance as the tennis’ star, Meldonium.

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Shintaro Mochizuki reaches the qualifying round of qualifying round at Wimbledon

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Japanese Next Gen star Shintaro Mochizuki came back from one set down to beat French Next Gen player Hugo Gaston 1-6 6-2 6-4 reaching the second round of qualifying at Wimbledon. Mochizuki made his return to the grass court of South-West London. 

 

Mochizuki made history at the All England Club in 2019, when he became the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam boys’ singles title. The young Asian player is now ranked world number 500 and is making his first professional level appearance at a Grand Slam tournament. 

Mochizuki became the first Japanese player to claim a Grand Slam boys’ singles title when he won the Wimbledon Trophy. 

Mochizuki has been based at the IMG Academy in Bradenton since he was 12. The Japanese player almost chose baseball over tennis before moving from Japan to Florida. His father was a tennis coach and Shintaro started holding a raquet at the age of 1. He considered quitiing tennis at the age of 9 and pursuing baseball instead. His tennis idoli s Roger Federer, who won his first Grand Slam title 34 days after Mochizuki was born. 

“I did not think I was going to get a wild card for qualies this year, because it’s 2021 and I won in 2019. I was really when I heard I got the wild card and I was super excited”, said Mochizuki. 

US Next Gen player Brandon Nakashima cruised past Aleksandar Vukic 6-1 6-1. Vukic pushed Denis Shapovalov to two tie-breaks at last week’s cinch Championships. 

Tomas Machac battled past Tommy Robredo 7-5 4-6 10-8. Machac is currently 10th in the ATP Race to Milan. 

Bernard Tomic rallied from one set down to beat Blaz Kavic Kavic 4-6 6-4 6-3. 

Maxime Cressy edged past Thanasi Kokkinakis 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-3). 

Former world number 10 Ernests Gulbis overcame Dmitry Popko 6-3 5-7 6-4.

Viktor Troicki fought past Christopher Eubanks 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 7-5. 

Zdenek Kolar eased past Martin Klizan 6-1 6-2. Klizan was the final match of his career. 

Roman Safiulin eased past Ivo Karlovic 6-4 6-2. This year’s Buenos Aires finalist Francisco Cerundolo saw off Felipe Meligeni Rodrigues Alves 6-4 6-2. 

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Novak Djokovic Confirmed For Olympics But Del Potro Pulls Out After Medical Advice

The Serbian will be bidding to win gold in Tokyo later this year for the first time in his career.

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This year’s Olympic tennis tournament has been given a boost after officials confirmed world No.1 Novak Djokovic will be playing at the Games.

 

The 19-time Grand Slam champion had been contemplating whether to play at the event or not amid ongoing COVID-19 conditions. Djokovic previously said he would reconsider travelling to Tokyo if fans weren’t allowed to attend. Since that comment, organisers have given the green light for up to 10,000 domestic fans to attend Olympic venues. Although foreign fans are banned from attending this year due to the pandemic.

Amid questions over Djokovic’s participation, the Serbian Tennis Federation has told Sportski Zurnal that he has pledged to play. It will be the fourth time the 34-year-old has represented his country in the Olympics. So far in his career, Djokovic has only won one medal which was bronze back in 2008. He also finished fourth in 2012.

“Novak has confirmed his desire to participate in the Olympic Games and we have already sent a list with his name on it to the Olympic Committee of Serbia. It will be forwarded from there,” the Tennis federation told Sportski Zurnal.

As it currently stands Djokovic is on course to achieve the calendar ‘golden slam.’ A rare achievement where a player wins all four Grand Slam titles, as well as the Olympics, within the same year. In singles competition the only person to have ever achieved this was Stefi Graf back in 1988.

“Everything is possible, and I did put myself in a good position to go for the Golden Slam,” Djokovic said after winning the French Open
“But, you know, I was in this position in 2016 as well. It ended up in a third-round loss in Wimbledon. This year we have only two weeks between the first round of Wimbledon and the finals here, which is not ideal because you go from really two completely different surfaces, trying to make that transition as smooth as possible, as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“So obviously I will enjoy this win and then think about Wimbledon in a few days’ time. I don’t have an issue to say that I’m going for the title in Wimbledon. Of course, I am.”

Del Potro’s comeback delayed again

There is less positive news for Juan Martin del Potro, who was the player who beat Djokovic to win a bronze medal back in 2012. The Argentine hasn’t played a competitive match on the Tour since June 2019 due to a troublesome knee injury. Back in March the former US Open champion said playing at the Olympics again was motivating him during his rehabilitation.

However, since then progress has been slower than what Del Potro would have liked. As a result, he has been advised not to play in the event and continue his recovery.

Delpo won’t be able to play the Olympics Games. The knee rehab is going well according to the doctor’s plan but he suggested Juan Martin to go on with his rehab process and training, and skip Tokyo 2020,” a statement from Del Potro’s communication team reads.

Since 2010, the former world No.3 and two-time Olympic medallist has undergone eight surgeries.One on his right wrist, three on his left wrist and four on his knee. He has won a total of 22 ATP titles so far in his career.

The Olympic Tennis event will start on July 24th at the Ariake Coliseum.

RELATED STORY: Why Are So Many Tennis Players Skipping The Olympics?

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Dayana Yastremska Cleared Of Wrongdoing Over Failed Drugs Tests

The tennis has star had been provisionally suspended from the Tour since 7 January 2021.

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Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska said she looks forward to ‘returning to her passion’ after getting her doping ban lifted with immediate effect following a hearing.

 

The former world No.21 has been sidelined from the sport with a provisional suspension after testing positive for the banned substance mesterolone which is prohibited under category S1 of the 2020 WADA Prohibited List (Anabolic Agents). The positive test came from a sample which was taken on November 24th that Yastremska argued was linked to cross-contamination. She had appealed for her provisional ban to be lifted earlier this year but was denied.

Following her official hearing on May 21st, the Independent Tribunal under the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme has concluded that the tennis star didn’t deliberately take performance enhancing drugs. In their ruling, the panel says they ‘accept’ how the substance managed to get into Yasstremska’s body. She has previously claimed to have ‘scientific evidence’ of cross contamination.

Ms. Yastremska’s provisional suspension is lifted with immediate effect, and she will not serve any period of Ineligibility for her violation. For the avoidance of doubt, Ms. Yastremska is eligible to resume competition immediately.” The ITF stated.

In a statement, Yastremska says she has struggled over the past six months with the negative comments related to her suspension from the sport. Earlier this year she flew to the Australian Open hoping to compete, but wasn’t allowed to under anti-doping rules.

“I’ve been through a lot in the last 6 months and found it difficult to deal with all the negative comments,” she wrote.
“I want to thank my family, my lawyers, my agent and the entire Top Five Management team for their continued and unwavering support. I would also like to thank my fans for the love and messages that I received during this difficult period.’
“Now I look forward to returning to my passion – tennis. It was taken away from me for too long, I can’t wait to get back on tour.”

The 21-year-old has won three WTA Premier titles so far in her career with her most recent triumph occurring at the 2019 Strasbourg Open. Her best run in a Grand Slam was two years ago at Wimbledon, where she reached the fourth round before losing to Zhang Shuai of China.

Yastremska is currently ranked 37th in the world. She has not given any details about when or where she plans to return to competitive tennis yet.

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