Maria Sharapova doping ban appeal postponed until after Olympics
Maria Sharapova’s appeal of her two-year ban for doping has been postponed until September, officially ruling her out of participation in this summer’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, according to the Associated Press.
Sharapova announced in March that she had tested positive for Meldonium, a heart disease drug that had been added to WADA’s list of banned substances in January. The International Tennis Federation responded by provisionally suspending her from all tennis activities before handing down the two-year ban in June.
Sharapova’s legal team filed a request for an expedited appeal shortly after the ban was imposed, but the AP reports both Sharapova and the ITF have agreed to postpone the appeal hearing to gain more time to prepare their cases.
A ruling on the case was expected to be announced next week. The new verdict is expected by Sept. 19.
The delay in hearing the case will keep Sharapova out of the Olympics and the U.S. Open, which is scheduled to begin on Aug. 29.
If the two-year ban stands, the five-time Grand Slam champion will miss eight Grand Slam tournaments before her reinstatement on Jan. 25, 2018.