Maria Sharapova has been suspended from for two years by the International Tennis Federation for doping.
The 29-year-old Russian tennis star failed an anti-doping test at the Australian Open back in January. She used a Latvian-made drug called meldonium. Normally known as a heart disease treatment, Sharapova used the drug without knowing it was added to World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list.
Its been reported that Sharapova will appeal the ban.
“It is very important for you to understand that, for 10 years, this medicine was not on Wada’s banned list and I had been legally taking that medicine,” Sharapova said in March.
A statement from the ITF reads in part:
“An Independent Tribunal appointed under Article 8.1 of the 2016 Tennis Anti-Doping 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.”
The statement also says that Sharapova did not intentionally violate the rules, but she must expect to bear the responsibility of the mistake.
Read her statement in full, which she posted to Facebook, below:
SOURCE: ESPN, Facebook | IMAGE CREDIT: Getty