"I took it for granted" - Maria Sharapova relishing chance to get back playing tennis following ban

She was speaking to US chat show host Charlie Rose

BY Cian Roche 11:47 Wednesday 5 October 2016, 11:47 5 Oct 2016

Image: Damian Dovarganes / AP/Press Association Images

Five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova says she has an "incredible opportunity" to play tennis again.

The Russian's had a two-year ban reduced to 15 months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport following the results of an appeal released yesterday.

Sharapova tested positive for meldonium in January - just weeks after it had become a prohibited drug and speaking to US chat show host Charlie Rose, she said she'd taken it for years for medical reasons.

"I just thought how could I have not known this, there was so many ways I could have known and I did not," she said. "I've had a lot of time to think about it and I think I took it for granted."

Head chairman and CEO of tennis sport brand HEAD, Johan Eliasch, was a staunch supporter of Sharapova throughout the scandal, said "justice" had been served following the ruling.

"We are very proud to have stood by Maria for the right reasons throughout these difficult and testing times," he said in a statement.

HEAD's social media accounts did come in for some criticism after congratulating Sharapova on a reduced ban and even emblazoned their image attached to the tweet with the hashtag '#WeStoodWithMaria'.

Meanwhile, the International Tennis Federation says it won't let players claim they've not been fully informed about changes to the list of banned drugs.

Sharapova criticised the governing body claiming the ITF could have done a better job telling her the drug - which she says she used for medical reasons - became a prohibited substance.


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