Serena Williams applauds Maria Sharapova for showing 'courage' over failed drugs test

Maria Sharapova revealed that she was tested positive for meldonium in January.

World number one Serena Williams has extended her support to fellow tennis player Maria Sharapova. The 28-year-old five-time grand slam winner revealed that she was tested positive for meldonium in January.

During a press conference at Madison Square Garden in New York City, the 34-year-old tennis star applauded Sharapova for the way she the revealed news. Williams said: "I think most people were happy she was upfront and very honest and showed a lot of courage to admit to what she had done and what she had neglected to look at in terms of the list at the end of the year. It's just taking responsibility, which she admitted that she was willing to do and ready to do. Just hope for the best for everybody in that situation."

"As Maria said, she's ready to take full responsibility," she added. "She showed a lot of courage and a lot of heart. I think she's always shown courage and heart in everything she's done, and this is no different."

Meanwhile, at a press conference in Los Angeles, Sharapova revealed that she was not aware that the drug, which she has been taking since 2006 for health issues, had been recently added to the prohibited substance list in January. Sharapova said: "I know with this that I face consequences. I don't want to end my career this way, and I really hope that I will be given another chance to play this game. I know many of you thought that I would be announcing my retirement, but if I was ever going to announce my retirement, it wouldn't be in a downtown Los Angeles hotel with this fairly ugly carpet."