Maria Sharapova has criticised the International Tennis Federation for not informing her adequately about the fact that meldonium was going to be included in the list of banned substances at the end of the 2015 season.
According to a report published in Reuters on Friday, the 29-year-old Russian pointed out, “Why didn’t someone come up to me and have a private conversation, just an official to an athlete, which would have taken care of the confidentiality problem they talked about later?”
Sharapova, however, did take responsibility for her actions and added, “Ultimately the fault was mine. I had been getting clearance on everything I was taking for seven years and I became complacent.”
The former World No 1 had tested positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open. She publicly announced her failing of the drug test during a specially convened press conference in March 2016.
And, while she was initially banned by the ITF-appointed Independent Tribunal for two years, Sharapova later appealed to the Court of Arbitration of Sports who reduced her ban to 15 months in October 2016.
Sharapova, whose ban will end on April 26, will be seen in action on the same day at the Porsche Open in Stuttgart. A three-time former champion in Stuttgart, Sharapova received a wild card from the tournament organisers.