Maria Sharapova posted a letter to her fans Friday on her Facebook page, four days after the Russian tennis star said she failed a doping test at the Australian Open in January for the little-known meldonium.
The former world No. 1 took full responsibility for her mistake when she made the announcement at a news conference Monday in Los Angeles. The 28-year-old player could face a lengthy ban from the International Tennis Federation, possibly ending her season and preventing her from competing for Russia at the Rio Olympics.
Sharapova received notice last week that she tested positive for meldonium, a blood flow-promoting drug she has been taking for 10 years for numerous health issues. Meldonium was banned at the start of the year because it aids oxygen uptake and endurance, and several athletes across international sports have already been caught using it. Sharapova and all players were notified of the changes in the WADA banned substances list in December. Sharapova said she simply missed the change, neglecting to click on the link.