New Delhi: Russian tennis ace Maria Sharapova's failing an Australian Open doping test for a substance banned only weeks before, was "reckless beyond description," former World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president Dick Pound said.
"All the tennis players were given notification of it and she has a medical team somewhere. That is reckless beyond description," said Pound.
According to a report in the BBC, Pound said that taking something on a list is a big mistake and that she would have known.
"Running a $30 million business depends on you staying eligible to play tennis. You are taking something on a list. I am sorry. That is a big mistake. Of course she should have known," said Pound.
The 28-year-old Russian, a five-time Grand Slam singles champion, revealed on Monday that she tested positive for the banned substance meldonium in January and several sponsors have already cut ties with her.
Pound also went on to say that Sharapova had three months to get off on what she was doing.
"She is taking something that is not generally permitted in her country of residence for medical purposes, so she says, so there must be a doctor following this. Anytime there is a change to the list, notice is given on 30 September prior to the change. You have October, November, December to get off what you are doing," said Pound.
The 73-year-old Pound also went on to add that, the WADA put the drug on the list because there is no need for it over a long period of time such as the span Sharapova says she has been taking it.
"A drug like this over a long period of time is contra-indicated. It means you would not take it over a long period of time," Pound said.
Earlier, Sharapova had said that she received an e-mail with a link to the revised list of banned substances but never clicked on it to learn the drug she had taken since 2006 had been put on the banned list, WADA having seen it used as an improper energy and stamina helper.
Meldonium is not approved for use in the United States.
The five-time Grand Slam winner could face up to four years of ban from the sport.