NEW YORK, March 9 (UPI) -- Dick Pound, the ex-World Anti Doping Agency president, had harsh words for Maria Sharapova Wednesday.
Pound said that the Russian tennis star was "reckless beyond description" leading to her failed drug test for Meldonium. Sharapova had been taking Meldonium legally for 10 years, but the substance was added to the agency's banned list early this year.
"You are taking something on a [banned] list. I am sorry, that is a big mistake — of course she should have known," Pound said, according to the New York Post.
"She is taking something that is not generally permitted in her country of residence [US] for medical purposes, so she says, so there must be a doctor following this," Pound said, via the Post. Sharapova faces a ban of up to five years. Her sponsorship with Nike, the largest endorsement deal ever for a female athlete, has been suspended.
"Any time there is a change to the list, notice is given on Sept. 30 prior to the change," Pound added. "You have October, November, December to get off what you are doing."
Forbes estimated Sharapova's 2015 earnings at $29.7 million.
"All the tennis players were given notification of it and she has a medical team somewhere," Pound said. "That is reckless beyond description."
Sharapova, 28, posted a thank you note to her fans Wednesday on Facebook.