Maria Sharapova may be able to return to the tennis court again. This comes after Russian Tennis Federation Head Shamil Tarpishchev took back his previous statement.
Maria Sharapova is currently awaiting the International Tennis Federation’s ruling on her case.
Last January, Maria Sharapova announced that she has indeed taken the recently banned drug meldonium after World Anti-Doping Agency declared its use illegal.
Scientists have reported that meldonium’s presence in the body may last several months after it has been ingested. If an athlete has taken meldonium before January 1, he/she may be cleared of his/her suspension. However, reports have surfaced that Sharapova’s amnesty may not be clear even after the new ruling.
Since the report, R Sport has quoted Russian Tennis Federation Head Tarpishchev as saying that Sharapova is in a ‘bad’ situation and that it is ‘very doubtful’ if the tennis star will resume her career.
However, Tarpishchev has since clarified his stance to R Sport saying, “I only said that she can’t play now because no ruling on her case has been issued.”
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Sharapova failed her meldonium test during the Australian Open, where she also lost in the quarter-final round to Serena Williams.
In a press conference last March, the 29-year-old admitted that she had indeed failed the test. She then clarified that she knew meldonium was already on the list of drugs banned. However, she claims she did not know that it was also the same drug as mildronate, which she continued taking even after the January 1 effective date of the ban on the meldonium drug, BBC reports. She said she was taking mildronate for medical purposes, and has been taking it for almost a decade.
The International Tennis Federation has since scheduled Sharapova’s case for a hearing. A possible ruling may be released before Wimbledon opens. The case normally runs for 3-6 months before the final ruling.
Sharapova has been under provisional suspension since March 12. If found guilty, she may face a maximum of four-year suspension.