Tennis superstar Maria Sharapova announced earlier this year that she tested positive for a banned substance and she was subsequently suspended for two years. However, the latest tennis news revealed that Sharapova’s suspension was reduced to 15 months and she could make her return at the 2017 French Open.
The International Tennis Federations suspended Sharapova for 24 months on June 8. She failed a drug test for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open. The drug was added WADA’s list of banned substances on January 1, 2016 because it enhances an athlete’s performance.
Maria Sharapova explained that she did not know that meldonium was on WADA’s list but she took full responsibility for her gaffe. She added that she has been legally taking the substance for ten years and it has been prescribed by her family doctor, per The Independent.
Nevertheless, the ITP suspended the 29-year-old Russian star for 24 months but it was reduced to 15 months after an appeal. In an official statement by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on their website, Sharapova knowing she was at fault was enough to reduce the suspension.
“The panel found that Ms. Sharapova committed an anti-doping rule violation and that while it was with “no significant fault,” she bore some degree of fault, for which a sanction of 15 months is appropriate,” the statement said.
According to The Guardian, Maria Sharapova is eligible to return to any competition on April 26, 2017 with the French Open being the platform for her comeback. In a statement on her official website, Sharapova was very thankful to her fans for their continued support.
“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.
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