Mar 12, 2016 07:44 AM EST

Sharapova Denies Being Warned Multiple Times About Meldonium Use

By R S Ali

Maria Sharapova made a bold statement denying reports that claim she was warned five times over meldonium use, according to The Guardian.

The Russian tennis star is facing who faces a lengthy suspension after testing positive at the Australian Open in January for use of the drug meldonium that only recently was included in the list of banned drugs for sports players.

Sharapova claimed in a statement on her Facebook page that warnings received over use of meldonium were hard to find.

In an email Sharapova acknowledged receiving on 18 December entitled "Player News", the warning for meldonium use was buried deep. "In order to be aware of this 'warning', you had to open an email with a subject line having nothing to do with anti-doping, click on a webpage, enter a password, enter a username, hunt, click, hunt, click, hunt, click, scroll and read," she said. "I guess some in the media can call that a warning. I think most people would call it too hard to find."

The Russian tennis queen admitted she had failed to open one email she got on 22 December. However, she said that reports of having been warned five times over meldonium use were inaccurate and largely exaggerated. She said the warnings referred to were buried deep within communications or simply posted on a webpage.

She talked in detail about the December 22, 2015 email received by her, whose subject line was "Main Changes to the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme for 2016." She took full responsibility for not having paid more attention to it, but still maintained that the other communications had been buried in newsletters, websites and handouts.

The Russian further posted a picture of a "wallet card" which had been handed out at tournaments after the ban began. She said the card had thousands of tiny, highly technical words on it, but still apologized for not having studied it. She said she was making no excuses but wanted to put to the rest the rumor that she had been warned multiple times and refused to take heed.

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