Maria Sharapova stood behind a podium in a downtown Los Angeles hotel conference room Monday afternoon and made an announcement that shocked the world: she had failed a drug test at the Australian Open. The Russian is now provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Federation. But by calling her own news conference, and somewhat incredibly getting the news out before anyone had a chance to leak the scandal, Sharapova made another thing clear: She wanted to be in control of this story.
Over her career, Sharapova has amassed millions through various endorsement deals. Due to her skills on the tennis court (she is a five-time Grand Slam winner), commercial appeal and shrewd business abilities, Sharapova has been No. 1 on the list of Forbes highest-paid female athletes in the world for years. It should not be a surprise that Sharapova, known for having a distant and calculated persona on the tennis tour, attempted to take matters in her own hands when she called Monday’s news conference.