She had tested positive for meldonium, a substance that had been banned, effective January 1, 2016 by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
On June 8, 2016, she was suspended from playing tennis for two years by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
In 1993, at the age of six, Sharapova attended a tennis clinic in Moscow run by Martina Navratilova, who recommended professional training at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, which had previously trained players such as Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, and Anna Kournikova.
With money tight, Yuri Sharapov borrowed the sum that would enable him and his daughter, neither of whom could speak English, to travel to the United States of America, which they finally did in 1994.
Her parents, Yuri and Yelena, are from Gomel, Belarussian SSR.
Concerned about the regional effects of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident, they left their homeland shortly before Maria was born.
Sharapova's father took various low-paying jobs, including dishwashing, to fund her lessons until she was old enough to be admitted to the academy.
Before she entered the IMG business, she trained with Rick Macci, in the Rick Macci Tennis Academy.
She appeared in many advertisements, including those for Nike, Prince, and Canon, being the face of several fashion houses, most notably Cole Haan.
Since February 2007, she has been a United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador, concerned specifically with the Chernobyl Recovery and Development Programme.
In all, she won three junior singles tournaments and was runner-up at five, including two junior Grand Slam events.
Her win-loss record in junior competition was 47–9.
In 1995, she was signed by IMG, who agreed to pay the annual tuition fee of ,000 for Sharapova to stay at the Academy, allowing her to finally enroll at the age of 9.