Sir Bradley Wiggins says athletes have to take responsibility for substances they ingest
By Mark Crellin
Last Updated: 09/03/16 8:46am
British cycling great Sir Bradley Wiggins says there are no excuses for Maria Sharapova, who is to be provisionally suspended from tennis after failing a drugs test.
Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam winner and iconic figure in the women's game, announced on Monday that she he had tested positive for prohibited substance meldonium at the Australian Open earlier this year.
While accepting her guilt, Sharapova said the medicine she was taking had only been placed on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned list on 1 January and that she had not been aware of the change.
The 28-year-old Russian said she had made a "huge mistake" and former Tour de France winner Wiggins says professional athletes have to take responsibility for any substances they take.
Meldonium has also been in the news in the cycling world of late, Eduard Vorganov having been suspended after testing positive for the drug.
And, when asked about Sharapova's situation, Wiggins said: "I feel sorry for her but, at the same time, there is no excuse for it because, at the end of the day, you are responsible for everything you put in your body.
"There may be changes on 1 January. British Cycling here, they are really on the ball, Richard Freeman, the doctor, in terms of things that have been changed.
"But you are still responsible for checking. There is no excuse for it in this day and age, with things that have gone before.
"It isn't an excuse any more to say I didn't see the rules. You could see she was distraught by it in her press conference, and she will face the consequences."
Three of Sharapova's major sponsors have distanced themselves from the tennis superstar following her admission.
And the International Tennis Federation have announced that she has been provisionally suspended with effect from 12 March.