The hammer has dropped on tennis star Maria Sharapova.
An independent three-person panel, appointed by the ITF (International Tennis Federation), ruled that Sharapova would be suspended for two years for testing positive for meldonium at the Australian Open. This ruling stated that the tennis star didn’t intend to cheat but that she bore “sole responsibility” and “very significant fault” for the positive test results.
Sharapova, who face a possible suspension of four years, issued the following statement and said that she plans to appeal the decision.
“While the tribunal concluded correctly that I did not intentionally violate the anti-doping rules, I cannot accept an unfairly harsh two-year suspension,” Sharapova said in a statement. “The tribunal, whose members were selected by the ITF, agreed that I did not do anything intentionally wrong, yet they seek to keep me from playing tennis for two years. I will immediately appeal the suspension portion of this ruling to CAS, the Court of Arbitration for Sport.”
This past March, she was provisionally suspended by the ITF after revealing that she had failed a doping test in January.
So what’s next for the five-time Grand Slam champion? Read the full story here.