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Maria Sharapova hits back at critics and denies drug cheating

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Media captionMaria Sharapova: “I admitted my mistake – now I am back”

Tennis star Maria Sharapova, who was banned from the game for 15 months for doping, has hit back at her critics, saying they “do not have the details”.

The former world primary was suspended final yr after she admitted taking the banned substance meldonium.

She has been broadly criticised, with fellow participant Eugenie Bouchard saying she shouldn’t be allowed to return.

But in a BBC information particular, Sharapova denied cheating and stated she had put the scandal behind her.

In April, Bouchard had said: “She’s a cheater and I do not assume a cheater in any sport must be allowed to play once more.”

But Sharapova informed the BBC: “I believe these are feedback not based mostly on details, and subsequently I do not take them into consideration.”

The Russian participant, who has simply launched her memoir Unstoppable, My Life So Far, additionally took purpose at Andy Murray. The British participant has beforehand questioned why athletes would take the prescription coronary heart drug meldonium.

Ms Sharapova stated: “I do not assume it is for them to actually have an opinion, as a result of they do not have the details. So, , I believe that these are the forms of phrases that make headlines and they are going to be used as headlines.

“But finally, that is my profession, and I confronted it head on, and I admitted my mistake, and I went about it and I served my suspension and now I am back.”

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Maria Sharapova stated there was “no proof” of meldonium’s performance-enhancing results

She admitted making “an enormous mistake” by taking the drug, which she says she has been taking since 2006 for well being points. It turned a banned substance on 1 January 2016.

However, she questioned whether or not it must be banned, saying there’s “no proof” of its performance-enhancing results.

“The downside I’ve with that’s there is no proof of what it does, and nobody may give you that proof. What is the ban based mostly on?” she stated.

It’s thought the drug may have a constructive impact on an athlete’s stamina and endurance.

What else did Maria Sharapova say?

  • On transferring to the US aged six: “It was a loopy journey. I took up the language very quick and I used to be round youngsters that spoke English. I by no means actually went to high school to review English. I watched Barney and all these little cartoons.”
  • On first watching the Williams sisters: “My father informed me, you gotta watch and you gotta examine them. And I used to be like, no, I do not need them to see me learning them! There was a shed behind the court docket they had been practising on, and I watched them by means of this little peephole.”
  • On equal pay in tennis: “As ladies athletes we have confronted roadblocks. We nonetheless face roadblocks, we nonetheless face criticism, we nonetheless have a protracted approach to go however we preserve preventing for it. By our actions on the court docket and by our professionalism.”

The Unstoppable Sharapova?, a BBC News Special, will air on the BBC News Channel on 15 September at 21:30 BST and on BBC World News on 16 September.

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