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Tennis Hall of Shame...

March 08, 2016 07:23 IST

Maria Sharapova

IMAGE: Maria Sharapova speaks to the media announcing a failed drug test after the Australian Open during a press conference . Photograph: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.

Tennis is facing its worst times in terms of dope cheats when, Maria Sharapovathe most prominent tennis player tested positive for a banned substance.

'Don't want to end my career this way...hope I'll be given a chance'

Sharapova admits that she failed a dope test

Sharapova is the biggest name in sport to test positive since New York Yankees baseball slugger Alex Rodriguez was banned for a year in 2013 after using performance-enhancing drugs and American cyclist Lance Armstrong was banned for life from racing in 2012 after a US Anti-Doping investigation.

Sharapova, one of the most popular figures in global sports, has long been a favorite with her sponsors. Cosmetics maker Avon Products Inc declined to comment on its endorsements. Nike Inc the world's largest footwear maker and another sponsor, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Rediff.com takes a look at players who tested positive for use of banned substances over the years.

Marin Cilic 

Marin Cilic

IMAGE: Marin Cilic. Photograph: Elsa/Getty Images.

Croatia's Marin Cilic was banned for nine months in 2013 after testing positive for a prohibited stimulant, though the suspension was cut to four months on appeal.

Viktor Troicki

Viktor Troicki

IMAGE: Viktor Troicki. Photograph: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images.

In 2013, Serbian former World No 12 Viktor Troicki was slapped an 18-month ban by the International Tennis Federation for refusing to provide a blood sample at this year's Monte Carlo Masters.

In his defence, Troicki maintained that he was misled by a doping control officer in Monte Carlo.

Martina Hingis

Martina Hingis

IMAGE: Martina Hingis of Switzerland plays a forehand. Photograph: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images.

Former No 1 Swiss player Martina Hingis retired after receiving a two-year suspension for a positive cocaine test in 2007, though she denied taking the drug.

She was banned for two years and quit the sport, but made a return to playing doubles in 2013.

The 'Swiss Miss' has repeatedly protested her innocence.

Jennifer Capriati

Jennifer Capriati

IMAGE: Jennifer Capriati. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty
Images.

She gave hope to young American girls before the era of the Williams sisters. The American won an Olympic gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Games at the tender age of 16.

But soon, it seems, her attention was diverted. She was arrested for possession of marijuana.

But the fighter in her did not give up easily. She rebuilt her career and went on to win three Grand Slam singles titles.

Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi

IMAGE: Former tennis players Andre Agassi with his wife Steffi Graff. Photograph: Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Keep Memory Alive.

Andre Agassi's admission in his autobiography 'Open', that he lied to tennis authorities about the use of addictive stimulant crystal methamphetamine to escape a ban shocked the world.

The eight-time Grand Slam winner said he wanted to share "my bad decisions which, in a few instances, nearly ended in catastrophe".

Agassi admitted he used the drug with an ex-assistant in 1997.

Richard Gasquet

Richard Gasquet

IMAGE: Richard Gasquet of France. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images.

Richard Gasquet escaped narrowly. The French player was suspended in May 2013, pending an investigation into a failed drugs test he gave at the Miami Masters in March.

However, he was cleared of wrongdoing after explaining the drug had entered his system after kissing an unidentified woman at a nightclub, and returned to action.

Greg Rusedski

Greg Rusedski

IMAGE: Greg Rusedski of Great Britain. Photograph: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images.

Rusedski, then Britain's No 2, tested positive for nandrolone in 2003.

The news was revealed in January 2004 and two months later Rusedski was cleared after successfully arguing that any excess levels in his system must have been mistakenly given to him by trainers.

Mariano Puerta

Mariano Puerta

IMAGE: Mariano Puerta of Argentina. Photograph: Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images.

The former World No 9 was twice banned from the sport due for drug offences.

In 2003 he was ordered off the Tour for two years at Vina del Mar, later reduced to nine months, after testing positive for clenbuterol, which he stressed had been administered to him by his doctor to combat asthma.

In 2005, after reaching the French Open final, the Argentinian was banned for eight years, the longest in tennis history at that time, for the use of the cardiac stimulant, etilefrine. Later it was reduced to two years.

Puerta claimed it had entered him after using a glass used by his wife, who was on medication.

Wayne Odesnik 

Last year, the sport banned US player Wayne Odesnik for 15 years after his second doping violation, testing positive for steroids and other banned substances.

Rediff Sports Desk
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