Sharapova banned two years for doping violation - - Columbia, South Carolina

Sharapova banned two years for doping violation

Maria Sharapova (by Hanson Joseph) Maria Sharapova (by Hanson Joseph)

The International Tennis Federation has disqualified Maria Sharapova from tennis play for two years for doping violations.

In a press release, the ITF stated that an independent tribunal was engaged on January 26 of 2016 to investigate an Anti-Doping Rule Violation during match play at this year's Australian Open.

Sample tests taken that day contained "meldonium" - a prohibited hormone supplement, or metabolic modulator.

Charges were filed on the 29-year-old Russian star tennis player on March 2nd, prompting an official hearing before that independent tribunal of international tennis officials.

During those May 18th and 19th hearings, Sharapova admitted to using the metabolic modulator, and it was decided her period of ineligibility would be two years, back-dated to midnight the night the sample was taken (Jan. 26, 2016) and so, disqualified Sharapova's appearance in the Australian Open, where she lost 6-4 6-1 to Serena Williams.

Sharapova was the 2008 Australian Open Champion.

The ban is in effect through midnight on January 25th, 2018.

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