Tennis : Ex-Wada chief Dick Pound slams Maria Sharapova as ‘reckless beyond description’
MARIA SHARAPOVA has been labelled “reckless beyond description” by ex-chief of the World Anti-Doping Agency Dick Pound.
The Russian tennis superstar announced on Monday that she had tested positive for the newly-banned substance meldonium at January’s Australian Open.
She claimed to have missed an email explaining the medication – which she has taken for ten years – was to become prohibited from January 1 2016.
But the former Wada chief – who served between 1999 and 2007 – waded into the row and showed little sympathy for the ex-world No1.
Pound told BBC Sport: “You are taking something on a list. I am sorry, that is a big mistake – of course she should have known
“She is taking something that is not generally permitted in her country of residence [USA] for medical purposes, so she says, so there must be a doctor following this.
“Anytime there is a change to the list, notice is given on 30 September prior to the change. You have October, November, December to get off what you are doing.
“All the tennis players were given notification of it and she has a medical team somewhere. That is reckless beyond description.”
Wada released a statement on Monday confirming they would not comment on the case until a decision is reached by tennis bigwigs.
A statement from the anti-doping body said: “Wada will refrain from commenting further until a decision has been issued by the International Tennis Federation.”
Sharapova saw her professional life crumble around her on Tuesday in a day of high drama.
Multimillion-pound sponsors of the 28-year-old – including Tag Heuer, Nike and Porsche – announced they would be distancing themselves.
Source : The Sun UK