Maria Sharapova, former world No.1, was handed a 15- month ban for doping violation. Sharapova was found to be using Meldonium and handed ban in January 2016.
Meldonium is a prohibited substance by WADA since 1 January 2016. It has been on the World Anti-Doping Agency list of substances banned from use by athletes. However, there are debates over its use as an athletic performance enhancer.
The ban completed turned the Russian’s life upside down. After the ban she struggled hard to regain the same form that once made her a star of the sport. Even she deleted all social media app from her phone.
Sharapova on her ban
She had no option left but to delete her all social media accounts just to stop herself from “going crazy“. It was because of all the “judgment” after her ban in 2016 due to doping violations.
As a quoted by Punto de Break tennis blog, the five-time Grand Slam champion said, “After the press conference, I deleted all social media apps from my phone to protect myself from being judged and not to go crazy.”
“I thought I’ve never worried about what other people thought of me. But after the incident I realized that it was important to me. I was very upset. It was unpleasant to feel no insignificant,” she admitted.
How ITF mistreated her
The Russian, then opened up about the mistreatment by the ITF. The mistreatment she claims to be false of accusing her of lying about ingesting the substance.
“The ITF insisted that I was hiding the use of meldonium, and this has nothing to do with the truth. It was cruel and painful. I didn’t ask to be allowed to play (tennis) the next day, I just wanted to be treated with respect. I am always ready to fight for what I consider my right,” she said.