Maria Sharapova LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 07: Tennis player Maria Sharapova reacts as she addresses the media regarding a failed drug test at The LA Hotel Downtown on March 7, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. Sharapova, a five-time major champion, is currently the 7th ranked player on the WTA tour. Sharapova, withdrew from this week’’s BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells due to injury. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Maria Sharapova’s explanation for failing a WTA drug test seemed a little weird from the start.

Sharapova said she had tested positive for meldonium because she had neglected an email telling her the drug would be banned in 2016. But you would sort of think someone in Sharapova’s inner circle who knew she regularly took meldonium would have heard about the ban and made sure she knew.

Well, according to the UK Times, Sharapova was warned at least five times that meldonium would soon be banned.

Business Insider sums it up here:

On Wednesday, the UK Times reported that in the month before her failed test Sharapova had been warned on five separate occasions — three from the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and two from the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) — that meldonium had been added to the list of banned substances.

According to the Times, along with the five warnings from the ITF and WTA, the World Anti-Drug Association (WADA) also told athletes as early as September 2015 that meldonium would be banned starting in 2016. What’s more, the Russian athletic association (ARAF) said in a statement on Wednesday that it, too, had warned its athletes not to take meldonium.

Suddenly Sharapova’s claims of ignorance sound awfully dubious. Could she really have missed at least five warning that meldonium would be banned? This seems like a classic instance of someone being either a liar or an idiot. Because to have avoided all those warnings would make Sharapova look awfully silly, and to have deliberately ignored them would make her dishonest.

At the very least, whether or not Sharapova knew about the ban on meldonium, she certainly should have known about it.


About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.