International Tennis Federation bans Sharapova for 2 years over doping

ASSOCIATED PRESS
LONDON
Published 08.06.2016 18:13
Updated 09.06.2016 11:30
In this Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 file photo, Maria Sharapova of Russia reacts after losing a point to Serena Williams of the United States during their quarterfinal match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne (AP Photo)
In this Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 file photo, Maria Sharapova of Russia reacts after losing a point to Serena Williams of the United States during their quarterfinal match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne (AP Photo)

Maria Sharapova has been suspended for two years by the International Tennis Federation for testing positive for meldonium at the Australian Open.

The ruling, announced Wednesday, can be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The five-time Grand Slam champion was provisionally suspended by the ITF in early March, when she announced at a news conference in Los Angeles that she failed a doping test in January.

Sharapova said then she was not aware that the World Anti-Doping Agency had barred athletes from using meldonium, also known as mildronate, as of Jan. 1.

Her lawyer, John Haggerty, says Sharapova took the substance after that date.

Sharapova said she was first prescribed the Latvian-made drug, typically used for heart conditions, for medical reasons in 2006.

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