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Saturday, July 11, 2020

Maria Sharapova suspended two years by ITF for failed drug test

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova has been banned from competition for two years by the International Tennis Federation after she tested positive for a banned substance back in January.

In a decision that was announced on Wednesday, the ITF explained that an independent tribunal determined Sharapova committed an anti-doping violation when she tested positive for meldonium. The suspension will be retroactive to Jan. 26, 2016, which is when the sample was collected. Sharapova will be eligible to compete in ITF events again on Jan. 26, 2018. Her results from the Australian Open, where she lost to Serena Williams in the quarterfinals, have also been forfeited.

Sharapova said previously that she tested positive for meldonium because it was in a medicine she had been taking for 10 years. The substance was added to the WADA’s banned drug list at the start of the year, and Sharapova claims she was unaware. You can read more about the drug here.

In a statement released shortly after the suspension was announced, Sharapova said she will appeal and pointed out that the independent tribunal determined she was not seeking treatment from a doctor to intentionally obtain a performance-enhancing substance.

The typical suspension for an intentional PED violation is four years, which Sharapova says the ITF requested before the tribunal cut it down to two.

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