Maria Sharapova refuses to answer questions about meldonium

Darren Cleary
Darren Cleary

11:05 21 Jan 2019

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Maria Sharapova grimaced and rolled her eyes before eventually slapping down questions about the substance at the centre of her doping ban.

The 31-year-old was booed by fans during her fourth round loss to Ashleigh Barty at the Australian Open.

Sharapova then refused to answer a question about meldonium, the drug that resulted in her serving a 15-month ban for taking.

The Russian was suspended for testing positive for the drug, which she had used legally until it was added to the WADA list of prohibited substances on January 1, 2016.

The tennis star claimed she was using the drug to help manage a magnesium deficiency.

Sharapova said she was only guilty of ignorance after she failed a test at the Australian Open, claiming she was unaware the World Anti-Doping Agency had banned the drug.

That was despite repeated warning from the International Tennis Federation as well as emails from the Women’s Tennis Association.

In total the Russian received 5 notifications during December that the drug was about to become banned.

Sharapova herself denied that she received ample warning, posting on Facebook on March of 2016:

“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.

“I make no excuses for not knowing about the ban. I already told you about the December 22, 2015 email I received. Its subject line was ‘Main Changes to the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme for 2016.’

“I should have paid more attention to it.

“But the other “communications”? They were buried in newsletters, websites, or handouts.”

Sour Sharapova not impressed by questions about meldonium

Reporter: You took meldonium legally for ten years to deal with your health problems. Now that it's banned and you can no longer take it, is it a struggle physically to deal with the demand of a Grand Slam fortnight?

Sharapova: Is there another question?

Sharapova sulky demeanour was not limited to questions about her past indiscretions. She was subjected to loud boos by the crowd after taking a lengthy bathroom break between the second set and third set, after she lost 1-6.

Reporter: What did you make of the crowd’s reaction to you today, they booed you when you came back on court after the toilet break at the end of the second set and they cheered that time violation. Did you think they were unfair on you and did it effect you at all?

Sharapova: What do you want me to say to that question?

Reporter: I don't know. Just the truth, I guess.

Sharapova: I think that's a silly question to ask.

Reporter: Did it affect you, though?

Sharapova: (Ignores question and doesn’t respond)

Sharapova’s sulking was a topic for conversation on Monday’s OTB AM, her reaction to legitimate questions didn’t go down well with Ger, Eoin, Kenny and Darren.

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