Tuesday September 13th, 2016

Maria Sharapova will find out during the first week of October if the appeal of her two-year ban for doping is successful, The Court of Arbitration for Sport has announced.

This marks the second time that the appeal has been delayed.

Sharapova was hoping for a decision in July, but lawyers from both sides said they needed more time to prepare. A Sept. 19 target date for the decision was also pushed back.

Sharapova, 29, announced she failed a doping test in January, and was banned by the ITF two months later.

Sharapova says she was unaware that meldonium, a heart disease drug, became a banned substance on the World Anti-Doping Agency's list starting on Jan. 1.

An independent three-person panel rejected that argument saying Sharapova bore "sole responsibility" for the positive test, even though they acknowledged she did not intend to cheat.

The ITF provisionally suspended her from all tennis activities before handing down the two-year ban in June, causing her to miss Wimbledon, the Rio Summer Olympics and the U.S. Open.

The Federation said last month that all provisional suspensions under the Tennis Anti-Doping Program will be publicly announced, effective Sept. 1.

Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam winner, filed an appeal against the decision and seeks a reduction of the decision to ban her from playing.

- Scooby Axson

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