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Doping: Russian Sharapova’s Suspension 2 –Year Ban Reduced To 15 Months


BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Russian Maria Sharapova’s appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) against her two-year ban, has turned out to be successful, as her sanction on doping, has now been reduced to 15 months.

Five-time Grand Slam winner, was initially banned by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for two years after testing positive to meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.

With the ruling, the 29-year-old Russian is expected to return to the court on April 26, 2017.

“I am counting the days until I can return. In so many ways, I feel like something I love was taken away from me and it will feel really good to have it back. Tennis is my passion and I have missed it”, Sharapova disclosed Tuesday.

The Russian suspension was backdated to January 26, 2016. This implies Sharapova can return to competitive action before next year’s French Open in May.

“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.

“I have learned from this, and I hope the ITF has, as well. Cas concluded that ‘the Panel has determined it does not agree with many of the conclusions of the ITF tribunal.

“I have taken responsibility from the very beginning for not knowing that the over-the-counter supplement I had been taking for the last 10 years was no longer allowed’’, she added.

Sponsors are also delighted with the ruling. Racquet manufacturer Head, who extended its contract with Sharapova despite her sanction, congratulated the Russian player, after the announcement.

Nike, which suspended its relationship with her in January, said it would “continue to partner” her based on the tribunal’s findings.

Sharapova was rated the Forbes’ highest-paid female athlete for 11 consecutive years, until American player Serena Williams broke her record this year.

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