Maria Sharapova, tennis star and longtime “rival” of Serena Williams has revealed that she failed a drug test during the 2016 Australian Open.
Sharapova failed the test due to the drug Meldonium; a drug she has been using for 10 years for health issues. The tennis player expects to face pending punishment from the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
According to Reuters, “The 28-year-old Russian, a five-times grand slam champion, tested positive for Meldonium, which is used to treat diabetes and low magnesium, and was only banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency as of Jan. 1.”
“I was getting sick very often and I had a deficiency in magnesium and a family history of diabetes, and there were signs of diabetes. That is one of the medications, along with others, that I received,” Sharapova said.
Twitter users and fans of Serena Williams took the opportunity to take Sharapova down a peg and the mainstream media who has propped her up over the years.
In the long rivalry, Williams have dominated the Russian tennis player in nearly every match but the media has historically downplayed Williams’ victories.
As of Monday, Williams is ranked number one in the world according the Women’s Tennis Association rankings—in fact—she has been in the top spot for the 160th consecutive week with 9,245 points. While Sharapova is currently ranked seventh.
However, it was revealed months prior, that Sharapova receives more money in endorsement deals despite a dismal winning record against Williams and overall slams compared to the world no. 1 player. Sharapova fans have also mocked Williams–calling her mannish– for having muscles and a toned physique. Many have falsely accused Williams of taking PEDS even though that has never been proven.
The failed drug test opens up old wounds and shows the sympathy and double standards the media have when covering the two women. Sharapova still gets the benefit of the doubt. Here’s how Twitter responded:
To be fair, if this had been Serena or Venus no one would be talking about "to be fair"https://t.co/YzE6U64PzA
— DarlingEbony (@DarlingEbony) March 7, 2016
So Serena's lil "rival" Maria Sharapova failed her drug test for the Australian Open, huh? pic.twitter.com/n0GV1Mw7uW
— Author Writeis (@PercivalPenman) March 7, 2016
Cheating just to lose to serena>>> https://t.co/7lyKtviq6B
— Trill Withers (@TylerIAm) March 7, 2016
Serena gotta log on and tweet "LOL" for the culture.
— Morris Breastnut (@__Mo) March 7, 2016
— Troy (@Troy_Official) March 7, 2016
Maria Sharapova took drugs and still couldn't beat Serena.
— bwdone2017 (@theonlyadult) March 7, 2016
Maria Sharapova failed a drug test?? And she still can't beat Serena? She better get a better prescription.
— Ryan (@Isley23) March 7, 2016
The irony is that Sharapova fans have been accusing Serena of taking PEDs for years
— Ilvermorny Prefect (@Joracle_) March 7, 2016
So Serena gets accused of taking steroids, Sharapova can't beat her, but Sharapova is the one failing drug tests? pic.twitter.com/xxuZzhReGo
— B (@_BSmoov_) March 7, 2016