Maria Sharapova speaks for the first time after SHOCK doping scandal

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It's been a rough week for tennis star Maria Sharapova who faces a lengthy ban from professional tennis after she failed a drug test ahead of playing the Australian Open in January. 

The 28-year-old sport star tested positive for the drug meldonium, a substance she has been taking for over ten years for alleged health reasons. 

Meldonium was put on the official list of banned substances on January 1 and the tennis champion claimed she was oblivious to the recent changes in doping protocols. 

While many fans and fellow tennis players have come out in support of the star, others find her explanation for taking the drug implausible. 

Nevertheless, Maria has spoken out about the drama for the first time since her announcement on Monday in a reflective post to her Facebook page. 

"I woke up yesterday morning with an inbox, in full capacity of love and compassion.

"The first email I immediately opened was from my best friend, you know, the type of person who can make you smile and cry with only one word and who I spent the evening on the phone with, checking up on me, how was I doing?

"On average, I love the mornings. New day, new start. It is fair to say that this day was not average. Nothing came to mind at 6am, except that I am determined to play tennis again and I hope I will have the chance to do so. I wish I didn't have to go through this, but I do – and I will.

I woke up yesterday morning with an inbox, in full capacity of love and compassion. The first email I immediately…

Posted by Maria Sharapova on Wednesday, March 9, 2016

 

"My friends made a collage for me with all your beautiful messages and hashtags that you created (‪#‎IStandWithMaria‬ and ‪#‎LetMariaPlay‬).

"I spent the afternoon reading them next to my dog, who couldn't quite understand why this was more important than the walk he was expecting to take.

"In this moment, I am so proud to call you my fans. Within hours of my announcement, you showed me support and loyalty, which I could only expect to hear when someone would be at the top of their profession.

"I wanted to let you know that your wonderful words put a smile on my face. I'd like to play again and hope to have the chance to do so. Your messages give me great encouragement. This message isn't anything else but to say thank you. Thank you very much."

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