World number one tennis player Serena Williams has lent her support to Maria Sharapova in the wake of Sharapova’s announcement in Los Angeles yesterday that she failed a dope test during the Australian Open this year.
“I think most people were surprised and shocked by Maria,” Williams said. “But at the same time most people were happy that she was just upfront and very honest and showed a lot of courage to admit to what she had done and what she had neglected to look at.”
Classic Serena. Always gracious. The two have been rivals for some time, but she’s still onside because of her love of the game and the women who play it.
“She’s always showed courage in everything that she’s done. And this is no different,” she added.
Sharapova was busted for using anti-ischemic drug meldonium, which improves sports performance by assisting oxygen transport to the muscles. The drug was only formally banned by sports authorities this year.
Despite Williams’ shout out, Sharapova is still feeling the heat. Caroline Wozniacki, the Danish player, said that she only has herself to blame. “Any time we take medication we double and triple check, because sometimes even things like nasal spray can be on the banned list,” she told reporters. “As athletes, we always make sure there’s nothing in it that could put us in a bad situation.”
Financially, Sharapova is also being hit. She’s already lost her sponsorships from Porsche, Nike and Tag Heuer, who seem far less inclined to let this one slide like Serena has.
Source: BBC News
Photo: Getty Images / Cameron Spencer