Sharapova’s doping ban reduced

Lausanne: Tennis Star Maria Sharapova’s two-year doping ban has been reduced to 15 months following her appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The 29-year-old tested positive for the banned medication meldonium during Australian Open, by the International Tennis Federation for two years.

The five-time Grand Slam winner’s glittering career was thrown into serious jeopardy due to the ban. She has won 35 WTA singles titles and more than $36 million in career earnings.

“I am counting the days until I can return,” she said. “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.”

Meldonium, a heart disease drug also known as mildronate, was banned on  January 1, 2016.

Sharapova said she had been taking the drug since 2006 for health problems and had “not tried to use a performance-enhancing substance”. She said she was unaware the drug had been added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) banned list.

In its verdict, the CAS “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 Russian will be able to return to the tennis court on 26th April, 2017.

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