Maria Sharapova’s two-year doping suspension was reduced to 15 months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport after she successfully appealed her ban.The tennis star tested positive for meldonium in January during the Australian Open and received a two-year ban handed down by the International Tennis Federation.
Her reduction was described as one of the happiest days by Sharapova and she has already set her sights on the French Open in April 2017.
“I’ve gone from one of the toughest days of my career last March, when I learned about my suspension, to now, one of my happiest days, as I found out I can return to tennis in April,” Sharapova said.
In the verdict, the CAS found that Sharapova was guilty of committing an anti-doping rule violation and even though she was unaware of her fault, her two-year ban has been revised to 15 months.
Sharapova, a former number one ranked player and five-time grand slam champion, said it had escaped her attention that the product had been added to the banned substance list published by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on January 1. Melodonium was added to the list just before the Australian Open, yet Sharapova had been taking the substance for 10 years to help treat a heart issue and a magnesium deficiency. – Paul Burns
Photo of Maria Sharapova practicing from her Facebook page.