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Maria Sharapova hits back at the media, says doping changes were ‘buried in newsletters, websites, or handouts’


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

March 13, 2016 | 3 min read

Having been exposed as a drug cheat and ditched by many of her sponsors, Maria Sharapova has taken to Facebook to combat some media claims.

During the Australian Open, Sharapova was caught with the meldonium in her system, a drug designed to aid blood flow, especially to treat instances of angina. By virtue of its potential to aid in the distribution of blood throughout the body, it has been deemed by some parties as a performance enhancer.

Racket sponsor Head decided to stick by the women’s tennis star. Andy Murray, also backed by Head but criticised the brand for its support of Sharapova during the week.

With Nike, Tag Heurer and Porsche, already distancing themselves from her, Sharapova took to Facebook to address how the media has been covering the case.

Speaking out against substantial media reports, she said: “There have been things that have been reported wrong in the media, and I am determined to fight back… some in the media distort, exaggerate and fail to accurately report the facts about what happened.

“A report said that I had been warned five times about the upcoming ban on the medicine I was taking. That is not true and it never happened. That’s a distortion of the actual ‘communications’ which were provided or simply posted onto a webpage.”

She went on to claim that the rule changes were “buried in newsletters, websites, or handouts”.

She concluded: “In other words, in order to be aware of this ‘warning’, you had to open an email with a subject line having nothing to do with anti-doping, click on a webpage, enter a password, enter a username, hunt, click, hunt, click, hunt, click, scroll and read. I guess some in the media can call that a warning. I think most people would call it too hard to find.”

Read the full statement below.

To My Fans:I want to reach out to you to share some information, discuss the latest news, and let you know that there...

Posted by Maria Sharapova on Friday, 11 March 2016

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