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    • #5693
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      Spanish Tennis Star Rafael Nadal thinks Maria Sharapova deserves to be punished after failing a drug test at the Australian Open.

      The Russian was found to have taken meldonium – a drug known to increase endurance capabilities – which was prohibited from January 1 this year.

      Sharapova has been provisionally suspended from March 12, but Nadal insists she 'must pay' for failing to take cognizance of new doping regulations.

      'It is difficult to imagine that something like this can happen, but mistakes happen,' he said ahead of his first round match at Indian Wells. 'She should be punished.

      'I want to believe it is a mistake for Maria. She didn't want to do it. But obviously it is negligence. She must pay for it.'

      Nadal, who enters this week's tournament as the No 4 seed, says he has never been tempted to take a performing enhancing drug and wants to continue to be a role model for young players.

      'I am a completely clean guy,' he added. 'I have never had the temptation of doing something wrong.'

      'I believe in the sport and the values of the sport.

      'It is an example for the kids and if I am doing something that goes against that, I will be lying to myself, not lying to my opponents.'

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