LOS ANGELES. — Former Grand Slam tennis champion Jennifer Capriati lashed out at Maria Sharapova on Twitter on Monday after the Russian announced she had tested positive for a banned drug at the Australian Open in January.
In a series of tweets that didn’t mention Sharapova by name, Capriati said she was “disappointed.”
“I had to lose my career and never opted to cheat no matter what,” Capriati tweeted. “I had to throw in the towel and suffer.
“I didn’t have the high priced team of (doctors) that found a way for me to cheat and get around the system and wait for science to catch up.”
During a quickly convened news conference at a Los Angeles hotel on Monday, Sharapova said she tested positive for Meldonium, a circulation-boosting drug used to treat heart ailments that was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list this year.
“What’s the point of someone taking a heart medicine that helps your heart recover faster unless you have a heart condition? Is that accurate,” Capriati said.
“In my opinion (if) it’s all true every title should be stripped. This is other people’s lives as well.”
Sharapova’s failed drug test at this year’s Australian Open provoked a flurry of reaction on social media and beyond on Monday.
While most expressed shock and a degree of sympathy for the Russian former world number one, others were less charitable, including three-times grand slam champion Jennifer Capriati.
AMERICAN GREAT MARTINA NAVRATILOVA ON TWITTER: “Hold your horses everyone — about Maria — I don’t have all the facts, I hope it’s an honest mistake, stuff was legal as far as I know till 2015.”
FORMER PLAYER JAMES BLAKE on TWITTER: “Wow. Classy of @MariaSharapova to hold a press conference for this and admit making a mistake. Definitely agree that have to be aware though.”
CURRENT AMERICAN PLAYER RYAN HARRISON on TWITTER: “Maria handled that so well. In my opinion, honest mistake from a great champion”
FORMER TOP 10 PLAYER AND COACH BRAD GILBERT: “Still stunned that nobody on Shazza team checked new list from WADA, players are responsible, but this is big time oversight on team as well.” — AFP.