Confirmed: Maria Sharapova handed two-year suspension for committing anti-doping violation

Maria Sharapova is banned until January 27, 2018

Maria Sharapova has been banned for two years after failing a drugs test at the Australian Open, the International Tennis Federation has announced.

Sharapova’s suspension is backdated to January 26 this year, when she tested positive for prohibited substance meldonium.

The five-time grand slam champion will miss the Olympic Games in Rio this summer while the earliest grand slam she could next compete in will be the French Open in 2018.

In a statement issued on her Facebook page, Maria Sharapova has said she will “immediately appeal the suspension portion” to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The 29-year-old wrote: “While the tribunal concluded correctly that I did not intentionally violate the anti-doping rules, I cannot accept an unfairly harsh two-year suspension.

“The tribunal, whose members were selected by the ITF, agreed that I did not do anything intentionally wrong, yet they seek to keep me from playing tennis for two years.

“I will immediately appeal the suspension portion of this ruling to CAS, the Court of Arbitration for Sport.”

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