Mumbai: A big day came for Russia’s big-league Maria Sharapova as the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) has trimmed the length of doping ban upon her.The ban was imposed by an independent tribunal appointed by the International Tennis Federation, as she was tested positive for banned medication meldonium during January’s Australian Open, pushing her bright career under dark light.
Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam champion and former No. 1-ranked player, appealed to CAS in June seeking to overturn or reduce the two-year penalty imposed by the International Tennis Federation. In a 28-page ruling , the CAS panel found that Sharapova bore “some degree of fault” but “less than significant fault”. She will be now eligible to return to competitive tennis in April after her two-year doping ban was reduced to 15 months.
Now she can return on April 26, 2017, a month ahead of the French Open, a Grand Slam tournament she has won twice. On this Happy occasion Sharapova expressed her feelings through facebook page, which said:
“I’ve gone from one of the toughest days of my career last March when I learned about my suspension to now, one of my happiest days, as I found out I can return to tennis in April,” Sharapova said in a statement.
“In so many ways, I feel like something I love was taken away from me and it will feel really good to have it back,” she added. “Tennis is my passion and I have missed it. I am counting the days until I can return to the court.”
Sharapova first tested positive for meldonium in January during the Australian Open, where she lost to Serena Williams in the quarterfinals. The court upheld an earlier decision that stripped Sharapova of the ranking points she earned by making it to the quarterfinals, as well as any prize money. Which she herself admitted and gave the following statement:
“I have taken responsibility from the very beginning for not knowing that the over-the-counter supplement I had been taking for the last 10 years was no longer allowed,”.