Tennis News: Maria Sharapova damage control, Russian’s lawyer denies illegal drug enhanced her on-court performance

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Maria Sharapova of Russia (Photo courtesy: Misty/Wikimedia Commons)

Maria Sharapova is in hot water after she admitted to be taking an illegal banned drug, meldonium, in the past years. Sharapova’s lawyer, John Haggerty insisted in a recent interview that her client used the drug to enhance her performance on the tennis courts but that the Russian used it for medical purposes.

“That’s something I think Wada would have to answer but I would say, given the daily dosage they were saying, some athletes were using it to gain some potential performance-enhancing benefits,” Haggerty shared to The Guardian emphasizing Sharapova’s claims that using meldonium was used for her medical condition.

“Those dosages I’ve seen in the literature are substantially higher than the dosage Maria’s doctor recommended for her medical condition. So while I’m not a physician my belief is the level Maria was taking it at, there would not be any performance-enhancing effect whatsoever.”

The denial from Sharapova’s camp is expected as the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has yet to announce the specific length of ban for her illegal drug use. Earlier reports state that Sharapova is expected to be suspended from WTA Tour play from two to four years.

Since the admission of the failed drug test during the 2016 Australian Open, the five-time Grand Slam champion Sharapova has been dropped by sponsors Nike, Porsche and Tag Heuer as an endorser. Recently, the United Nations also suspended their ties with the Russian.

Sharapova’s lawyer stated in the interview that she will “take full responsibility” for the drug controversy and that “it’s her and her responsibility alone.”

Photo courtesy: Misty/Wikimedia Commons

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