Maria Sharapova’s appeal verdict over doping ban set for early October

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said it would deliver an appeal verdict on the two-year doping ban for Maria Sharapova in early October.
Maria Sharapova received a two year doping ban after testing positive for meldonium at the Australian Open. Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters
Maria Sharapova received a two year doping ban after testing positive for meldonium at the Australian Open. Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) said on Tuesday it would deliver an appeal verdict on the two-year doping ban for Maria Sharapova in early October.

Sharapova, 29, tested positive for the banned medication meldonium during January’s Australian Open. In a severe blow to her reputation, the infringement was revealed in March.

“The Cas will issue its decision in the arbitration procedure between Maria Sharapova and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) during the first week of October 2016,” Cas said in a statement sent from its Lausanne headquarters.

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The original ruling had been expected by July 18, with Sharapova hoping a successful appeal would allow her to spearhead the Russian tennis team at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Delays have been caused by both parties carefully preparing defences of their position as Sharapova seeks a reduction of the Tribunal’s decision to sanction her with a two-year period.

The two-year ban on the five time grand slam winner who has spent most of her life in the United States was backdated to January 26 this year, when she tested positive for the previously unheralded meldonium.

The product had just been added to the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) list on January 1.

Sharapova openly admitted she had been taking it for 10 years to help treat illnesses, a heart issue and a magnesium deficiency.

She also claimed it had entirely escaped her attention that the product had been added to the banned substance list.

Age 17, Sharapova burst onto the tennis scene by winning the Wimbledon title in 2004. She added to her grand slam collection with the US Open in 2006, the Australian Open in 2008 and the French Open in 2012 and 2014.

Her ferocity on the court, business acumen and glamorous looks have all combined to make her a marketing juggernaut and the overseer of such successful ventures as her Sugarpova line of candy.

She has 35 WTA singles titles and more than $36 million (Dh132.2m) in career earnings.

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Published: September 13, 2016 04:00 AM

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