Athletes & Celebrities

Maria Sharapova Suspended For Two Years

The Russian tennis player receives harsh penalty after failed drug test.

Sharapova Suspended For Two Years

Maria Sharapova has been suspended for two years by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for failing a drug test at the 2016 Australian Open, according to ESPN. The 29 year-old tennis player admitted this past March that she had tested positive for the drug meldonium, which boosts blood and oxygen flow. The substance had been banned in the beginning of the year by the World Anti-Doping Agency.   

“The ITF spent a tremendous amount of time and resources trying to prove I intentionally violated the anti-doping rules and the tribunal concluded I did not,” Sharapova said in a statement. 

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The ITF originally called for a four-year suspension for Sharapova, which was rejected once it was deemed that she did not intentionally seek to obtain a performance enhancing substance. 

Sharapova, a five-time major's winner, said that she would appeal the ITF’s decision, stating that she, “cannot accept an unfairly harsh two-year suspension,” since she did not do anything “intentionally wrong.”

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