How Twitter Reacted To Maria Sharapova’s Failed Drugs Test
Tennis

How Twitter Reacted To Maria Sharapova’s Failed Drugs Test

Screenshot taken from the press conference video.

The story began with an enigmatic tweet on Sharapova’s profile.

Whilst the tennis world focussed its attention on a hotel in LA where Sharapova’s press conference was to take place, there were rumours flying round of her imminent retirement. Then a whole different story broke. The winner of 5 Grand Slams and the highest-paid female athlete in the word announced that she’d failed a drugs test at this year’s Australian Open in January and would be suspended temporarily from 12th March.

The substance that she had been taking for the past 10 years, meldonium, was added to the banned list by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) this year and she had failed to note this. Sharapova, who broke the news herself, said: “I did fail the test and take full responsibility for it.”

In the aftermath, Nike announced that they were halting their relationship with the sports star, and a number of other sponsors stated that they’d be reviewing their position.

Here’s the mixed reaction from other big names in the sport including players, ex-players, commentators, coaches, journalists and fans.

Despite the shocking news, Andy Murray’s mum still managed to find a positive.

Andrew Castle, a BBC tennis commentator, certainly had some strong opinions on the effects on tennis.

And he wasn’t the only one who noted the massive oversight by her and her management team.

Especially since the drug had been on WADA’s watchlist in 2015 and even the Russian anti-doping agency pointed out in September last year that meldonium might be banned in the near future.

Top British tennis player Alex Ward neatly summed up the first reactions of many tennis reporters and fans.

Had they Googled it before they might have stumbled across this informative study.

Then, of course, people turned their attention to the potential repercussions of Sharapova “not clicking the link” in the email she received from WADA with the list of banned substances. The consensus seemed to say:

But her lawyer hoped that her “extremely mitigating circumstances” would help reduce the length of any ban. She could also request a therapeutic use exemption which would allow her to continue taking the prohibited substance legally.

Whilst some didn’t know how to react, including for British player Anne Keothavong.

Others managed to find a humorous side.

Some were less forgiving.

But she got some backing from one of the biggest names in the women’s game.

Then there was the ultimate irony on Sharapova’s ‘silly’ Twitter profile cover image. Oops!

Maria Sharapova Twitter cover silly

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