Sharapova sacked for 2 yrs
Christina Mendez, Alexis Romero (Associated Press) - June 10, 2016 - 12:00am

PARIS – Maria Sharapova was suspended Wednesday for two years for failing a drug test, labeled “the sole author of her own misfortune” because she hid regular pre-match use of a newly banned substance from anti-doping authorities and members of her own entourage.

The tennis star said she would appeal what she called “an unfairly harsh” punishment to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The ban, handed down by a three-person Tennis Anti-Doping Program tribunal appointed by the International Tennis Federation, is backdated to Jan. 26, when Sharapova last played. She tested positive for meldonium that day after losing to Serena Williams in the Australian Open quarterfinals. The panel said various elements of Sharapova’s case “inevitably lead to the conclusion” that she took the substance “for the purpose of enhancing her performance.”

Sharapova, who faced up to a four-year suspension, loses all ranking points and prize money she earned in Melbourne.

More significantly, if her suspension withstands an appeal and runs through Jan. 25, 2018, the 29-year-old Russian will wind up missing this year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics and a total of eight Grand Slam tournaments during what might have been prime competitive years.

It certainly throws into doubt the on-court future of a former No. 1-ranked player and owner of five Grand Slam titles who is one of the most well-known and – thanks to a wide array of endorsements – highest-earning athletes in the world.

She is one of 10 women in tennis history with a career Grand Slam – at least one title from each of the sport’s four most important tournaments. Sharapova was the 2004 Wimbledon champion at age 17; No. 1 in the rankings at 18; U. Open champion at 19; Australian Open champion at 20. An operation to her right shoulder in 2008 took her off the tour for months, and her ranking dropped outside the top 100. But she worked her way back, and in 2012, won the French Open, then added a second title in Paris two years later.

               

 

LEGISLATIVE AGENDA SEN. AQUILINO “KOKO” PIMENTEL III SENATE INDEPENDENCE SENATE PRESIDENT
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