Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova has been banned for two years after failing a drug test, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced on Wednesday.
Sharapova tested positive for the controversial banned medication meldonium during January’s Australian Open.
UN suspends Sharapova as goodwill ambassador
“An Independent Tribunal appointed under Article 8.1 of the 2016 Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (the “Programme”) has found that Maria Sharapova committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.1 of the Programme and as a consequence has disqualified the affected results and imposed a period of ineligibility of two years, commencing on 26 January 2016,” said a statement on the ITF website.
Maria Sharapova said on Wednesday she will appeal the two-year doping ban handed down to her by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for doping and which threatens to end her career.
“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 wrote on her Facebook page.
I will immediately appeal the suspension portion of this ruling to CAS, the Court of Arbitration for Sport. “
Sharapova has 35 WTA singles titles and has won all four of the sport’s grand slam titles.
Her career earnings amount to $36 million while her off-court earnings, according to Forbes, are around $200 million