Maria Sharapova has arguably just made the most expensive mistake in the history of sports.

At a press conference in Los Angeles on Monday Nike Air Max 95 Youth UK , the Russian tennis star admitted to failing a drugs test at this year's Australian Open, explaining it away by saying that she had been taking the substance meldonium legally for 10 years prior to it being added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) banned list in 2016.

She also did her best to put a positive spin on events, joking about the "ugly" carpet in the press conference venue and claiming to know the drug by another name, "mildronate," presumably because that sounds more like a herbal -remedy than "meldonium Nike Air Max 95 Womens UK ," which conjures up images of a radioactive substance.

But the fact remains that by not reading the updated list of banned substances at the start of the year - a task which should be every professional athlete's top priority - Sharapova has now ensured that her career will forever be tainted by this drugs scandal.

Already dropped by Tag Heuer, Porsche and Nike, from whom she has received tens of millions of dollars over the years, her other sponsors, which include Avon and Evian Nike Air Max 95 Mens UK , must surely now be considering their association with someone who openly admits taking a performance-enhancing substance.

Sharapova's candor is to be admired - if only because most athletes today seem to employ the "deny, deny, deny" tactic - but her position looks weak at best.

It is true that for the first 10 years Sharapova took meldonium, it was not on WADA's banned list.

But it is also true that the drug is not licensed in the US, where she has resided since long before she was first prescribed the drug by her "family doctor Nike Air Max 95 UK ," and WADA added the drug because it turned up in an increasing number of athletes' samples - with several already testing positive this year - and was found to have performance--enhancing properties.

It certainly looks as though Sharapova has been gaming the spirit of the law - if not the letter - for a very long time, and her suggestion that had she simply clicked on a link in an -e-mail in December then none of this would have happened beggars belief.

Sharapova has been ranked as the highest-earning female athlete for the past 11 years and has an electric mix of -talent, charm and personality that could have seen her continue to rake in the endorsements long into her retirement.

But that chance ended Monday - and she only has herself to blame.


TEHRAN, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressed deep sorrow for the death of crew members on an Iranian oil tanker, Tasnim news agency reported on Monday.

""I extend my sincere condolences to the mourning families and survivors of the Sanchi oil tanker's crew , who passed away during the heartbreaking incident of the burning and sinking tanker,"" Khamenei said in a statement.

""These beloved ones lost their lives while on duty, serving their country; and this is a great honor that may reduce the weight of grief and soothe the agonizing hearts of their surviving kin,"" he was quoted as saying.

The crew members, including 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis Wholesale Nike Air Max 95 White UK , went missing after a Panama-registered oil tanker and a Hong Kong-registered bulk freighter collided on Jan. 6 in waters about 300 kilometers east of the Yangtze River's estuary.

Three bodies have been recovered after Chinese rescuing efforts, with the rest of the crew members still unaccounted for.

The tanker, carrying 136,000 tons of gas condensates and other oils, caught fire after the collision. It sank on Sunday after burning for eight days.

On Sunday Wholesale Nike Air Max 95 Black UK , Iran's President Hassan Rouhani also extended his condolences to the families of the dead sailors.

Describing the incident as ""tragic"" and ""heart-breaking,"" Rouhani said the deaths of the crew have deeply saddened the nation of Iran.

Iran's cabinet has declared Monday, Jan. 15, as a nationwide day of public mourning.

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