Tennis ace will return to the court after her 15-month drug ban comes to an end later in April
MARIA SHARAPOVA has revealed she had to Google banned drug meldonium after receiving her 15-month drug ban.
The five-time Grand Slam tennis ace was initially banned for two years after testing positive for meldonium at the Australian Open 2016.
The drug was added to the banned list as of January 1 2016 which was then submitted to all athletes by email which Sharapova later admitted she did not read.
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The Russian blonde bombshell revealed she had taken meldonium since 2006 for health problems but was ‘unaware’ that she wasn’t allowed to take the drug and has accepted full responsibility.
And in an interview with the Times, the 29-year-old admitted she had to use Google because she ‘didn’t even know what meldonium was’.
She said: “I didn’t even know what meldonium was.
“I had to google it to find out. To me, it was Mildronate.”
Sharapova also hit out at the International Tennis Federation for the way they handled the banning of meldonium claiming someone should have told her at the Fed Cup in Prague in November 2015.
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How does meldonium benefit athletes?
Meldonium is believed to increase oxygen movement to muscles meaning it can boost stamina and endurance.
It is also supposed to give mental focus and removing stress so athletes feel sharper.
She added: “It was an ITF event so why didn’t someone come up to me and have a private conversation, just an official to an athlete, which would have taken care of the confidentiality problem they talked about later?
“But nothing was said by anyone.”
Sharapova will be able to return to the tennis court on April 26 after her two year ban was reduced to 15 months following her appeal.