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Meldonium and 9 other things you didn't know about Maria Sharapova

After saying she had a major announcement, the tennis star was expected to announce her retirement today.
By Will Creighton   |   Updated March 7, 2016 at 5:00 PM
| License Photo

Maria Sharapova surprised everyone at a press conference Monday, announcing that she failed a drug test at the Australian Open for the banned drug meldonium.

She says she's taken it legally for medical reasons for 10 years.

Here are nine other things you didn't know about the Russian tennis star:

1. She signed her first endorsement deal at age 11, with Nike.

2. She won her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2004 at age 17, becoming the third-youngest woman to win the Venus Rosewater Dish.
Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI
3. She's a member of a very small club as one of 10 women, and the only Russian, to have accomplished the career Grand Slam. She completed this feat by winning the French Open in June 2012, eight years after capturing her first Grand Slam title.
Photo by David Silpa/UPI
Photo by David Silpa/UPI
4. Known for her on-court 'grunting,' she was recorded at 101.2db during a match at Wimbledon in 2005.
Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI
5. She debuted an Audrey Hepburn-inspired little black dress at the 2006 U.S. Open. Nike opted not to offer at retail given the $600 manufacturing cost of the outfit.
Photo by Monika Graff/UPI
6. Since 2007, Sharapova has been a UN Development Programme goodwill ambassador, focused primarily on Chernobyl recovery efforts. Her parents left their home in 1986 out of concern that the radiation fallout would spread to their region in the former Soviet Union. She was born in Siberia.
Photo by UN/UPI
7. She launched a premium sweets product line dubbed Sugarpova in 2012. She briefly flirted with the idea of playing under the name "Maria Sugarpova" at that year's U.S. Open. She didn't, but the candy company with her name and image have taken off with retail sales around the world.
Photo by Monika Graff/UPI
8. She won a silver medal at the 2012 London Summer Olympics and served as the first torch bearer during the opening festivities at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Photo by Molly Riley/UPI
9. Forbes has ranked her the highest paid female athlete for 11 years in a row – most of it coming from endorsement deals from the likes of Nike, Head, Porsche, Evian and Avon. She's known as the "most marketable female athlete in the world."
Photo by David Silpa/UPI
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