Indian Wells - WTA players rocked by Maria
Sharapova's admission that she had failed a drug test are now waiting to see
what sanction the Russian superstar will face.
Sharapova's positive test for meldonium was
the talk of the locker room as the hardcourt tournament at Indian Wells got
underway on Wednesday.
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova
said she was "shocked" and world number three Agnieszka Radwanska
described it as a "sad day for tennis".
Radwanska said she was in the locker room
in Indian Wells with a group of WTA players getting ready train for this week's
tournament in southern California when she heard the news on Monday.
"It is a sad day for tennis," she
said on Wednesday. "Nobody expected that. We are all waiting to see what
they are going to do about it."
Czech Kvitova said Sharapova has made a
"huge mistake" by not paying more attention to what drugs are on the
"We should all know what we are
putting into our body," she said. "It was a huge mistake and she is
taking responsibility for it."
Sharapova revealed on Monday that she had
failed a drug test at the Australian Open in January, saying she had taken the
circulation-boosting drug used to treat heart ailments since 2006, but had not
spotted that it was added to the banned list as of January 1.
Sponsors of the world's highest-earning
sportswoman immediately distanced themselves, with Nike, Porsche and TAG Heuer
all halting their relationships with the former world number one.
The five-time Grand Slam winner could face
a ban of up to four years, although her attorney John J. Haggerty told the
Daily Telegraph on Wednesday that he believed she can plead mitigating
circumstances and receive a lesser punishment.
"There is no evidence whatsoever that
this was intentional on Maria's behalf," Haggerty said.
Sharapova, whose on-court prowess and
business savvy have brought her an estimated personal fortune of $200 million,
wrote on her Facebook page that she woke up early Wednesday morning determined
to fight through the scandal and eventually continue her storied career.
"New day, new start. It is fair to say
that this day was not average," Sharapova wrote. "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."