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Sharapova Handed 2-year Ban for Failed Drugs test | Plans to Appeal

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LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 07:  Tennis player Maria Sharapova addresses the media regarding a failed drug test at The LA Hotel Downtown on March 7, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. Sharapova, a five-time major champion, is currently the 7th ranked player on the WTA tour. Sharapova, withdrew from this week?s BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells due to injury.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 07: Tennis player Maria Sharapova addresses the media regarding a failed drug test at The LA Hotel Downtown on March 7, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) on Wednesday said five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova has been banned from tennis for two years after testing positive to a newly-banned substance.

ITF said in a statement that it had imposed a period of ineligibility of two years, commencing however on January 26th, the day of her test.

Sharapova immediately said she would appeal the potentially career-ending sanction.

“I intend to stand for what I believe is right and that is why I will fight to be back on the tennis court as soon as possible,” she wrote in a statement on her Facebook spage.

The infraction occurred at the Australian Open, with the 29-year-old testing positive for meldonium, a heart medication which had been declared illegal a few weeks earlier by anti-doping chiefs.

The ITF provisionally banned the Russian in March after she came out with an announcement of her positive January test.

Meanwhile Sharapova said that she had been prescribed meldonium for a decade by her personal physician.

Anti-doping officials have confessed that there is no scientific evidence yet as to how long it takes the newly illegal substance to leave the body.

However the medicine was declared illegal from the start of January.

The former highest-earning woman in all of sports reportedly produced very low levels of the substance.

Sharapova said in March that she was unaware of email and other electronic communications from the ITF which warned that meldonium would become illegal from January 1st.

“The ITF accepts that she did not know that Mildronate (meldonium’s trade name) contained a prohibited substance. She however argues that in taking the medication she knowingly and manifestly disregarded the risk of contravening the anti-doping rules, and thus committed an intentional violation,” the ITF said in an explanatory statement.

It added that the player had admitted to some fault but that she placed blame on the organisation for not taking reasonable steps to publicise the change to its doping rules.

Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

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5 Comments

  1. Emily

    June 8, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Good

  2. LW

    June 8, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    Sharapova messed up Big time!
    I believe her yearly income used to be higher than Serena Williams cos she had lots of lucrative endorsements despite Serena winning more tournaments. I always thought it was unfair.
    But now, things have changed. Only a few days ago, Forbes announced that Serena has finally become the highest paid female athlete. Congratulations Serena. You deserve it and have deserved it for some time.
    I want to quote this – “In the year that King Uzziah died, Isaiah saw the Lord”

  3. Jagaban

    June 9, 2016 at 3:49 am

    It was already banned for a few months not weeks or days. If it was a black athlete(Serena) we won’t hear the end of it. No hate but see how casual Sharapova is handling the issue…..Serena dare not do that and that’s just how it is in the world we live in.

  4. moimoi

    June 9, 2016 at 7:12 am

    V.good! not pity for her at all.. to soft a sentence in my opinion. white blonde girl gets off lightly..again!!
    if this was Serena williams they would be calling for her blood and a lifetime ban.

  5. Jenwi

    June 9, 2016 at 11:19 am

    If na black, na life ban o…diaris God!

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