Much to the relief of the Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has reduced the ban on her by nine months. She can now start playing from the month of April next year.
The former world no 1 tennis player, considered this day as one of the happiest days in her career. The Russian tennis ace said that the “though months” she had gone through, has made her learn a lesson and she hopes the same for the Tennis Federation (ITF) and anti-doping authorities.
Maria Sharapova said she could not wait to return to tennis next April after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) reduced the former world number one’s two-year drugs ban by nine months on Tuesday.
This five-times grand slam champion, talking how hurt she was after the two-year ban was imposed on her wrote on her Facebook page that after the ban was imposed she felt in many ways as if something she loved was taken away from her and now she feels elated after she has got it back. According to her, tennis is her passion and she is waiting eagerly for the days when she can return to this game.
This former world no 1 was slapped with a backdated ban for two years starting from Jan 26, 2016, after she was tested positive for the banned drug Meldonium.
According to the current ruling of the CAS, this Russian tennis ace committed an anti-doping rule violation for which “she bore some degree of fault”.
This panel further added that the decision to commute the two-year ban on this player was solely based on the degree of the fault that can be attributed to the player for her inability to check whether the substance in the product she had been taking for a long was included in the banned list of substances.
Initially, after the ban was imposed Sharapova reacted by saying that the ITF ruling was “unusually harsh” citing the fact that an independent tribunal had already found that she had not intentionally violated anti-doping rules.
Sharapova did concede that she took Meldonium and added that she was unaware of the fact that was on the list of banned drug by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Meldonium which was not there on the list was included in the WADA’s list after there was conclusive evidence pointing out that this substance boosted blood flow in the body and also assisted in the performance of an athlete.
After the recent ruling, Sharapova said, “I have learned from this, and I hope the ITF has as well.” She further clarified that she always accepted the fact that she was at fault and didn’t know the substance (which is sold over the counter) she was consuming for last 10 years was banned by WADA.
The Russian Tennis Federation welcomed the CAS ruling on Sharapova and said that they are happy to hear about the reduced of the ban and expected her to play for the country and win at the next Olympics.