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TENNIS: Maria Sharapova announces she failed drug test at Australian Open

Published:Monday | March 7, 2016 | 3:24 PM
In this January 20, file photo, Maria Sharapova of Russia reaches for a backhand return to Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus during their second round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia.

Former world number one Maria Sharapova has revealed she failed a drugs test at the Australian Open.

The 28-year-old Russian tested positive for meldonium, a substance she has been taking since 2006 for health issues.

Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam champion, said she was not yet aware of the sanctions she will face.

"I failed the test and take full responsibility for that," said Sharapova, who won Wimbledon as a 17-year-old in 2004.

"I had been taking this medicine for the past 10 years, but on January 1 this became a prohibited substance which I did not know."

Sharapova is currently ranked seventh in the world but has played just four tournaments since Wimbledon last July, and only the Australian Open in 2016, as she has struggled with an arm injury.