International Tennis Federation bans Sharapova for two years after positive drug test

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Friday, June 10, 2016

On Wednesday, the International Tennis Federation banned 29-year-old Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova for two years after she tested positive on January 26 for the drug meldonium. The drug was banned on January 1 this year.

File photo of Maria Sharapova, 2014.
Image: Valentina Alemanno.
Cquote1.svg The tribunal found that I did not seek treatment from my doctor for the purpose of obtaining a performance enhancing substance Cquote2.svg

Sharapova said she was not aware of the ban and continued to take it after January 1 under a trade name, mildronate. Mildronate or meldonium is a heart disease drug, and Sharapova said she was consuming it for a decade, due to heart concerns and as some of her family members have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Five-time Grand Slam winner Sharapova lost to Serena Williams in this year's Australian Open quarter-finals. The ban runs until January 26, 2018; she said she would appeal against it to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

She posted on her Facebook account, "Today with their decision of a two year suspension, the ITF tribunal unanimously concluded that what I did was not intentional. The tribunal found that I did not seek treatment from my doctor for the purpose of obtaining a performance enhancing substance."


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