Maria Sharapova banned for two years for doping

Maria Sharapova banned for two years for doping

Maria Sharapova has been suspended for two years by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) after testing positive for banned drug meldonium.

Maria Sharapova banned for two years for doping

The ITF made the announcement Wednesday, ending weeks of speculation about the future of the richest female athlete of the past decade.

Sharapova stunned the world in March when the five-time grand slam winner said in a Los Angeles press conference arranged by her entourage that she had failed a drug test at the Australian Open on January 26. She received a provisional ban on March 12.

In the wake of Wednesday's verdict, Sharapova said she would appeal the verdict in a statement on her Facebook page.

Russia planned to include Sharapova on its Olympic tennis team but the suspension now rules out of August's Rio Games.

 Meldonium was added to the prohibited list "because of evidence of its use by athletes with the intention of enhancing performance," WADA said on its website.

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