LONDON • Former tennis world No. 1 Maria Sharapova was handed a two-year ban by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) yesterday following her positive test for the banned drug meldonium at this year's Australian Open.
The ITF said the five-time Grand Slam champion's ban would be backdated to Jan 26, meaning her results from the Australian Open, where she reached the quarter-finals, would be disqualified.
The 29-year-old athlete, in a Facebook post, said she would appeal against the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The Russian, the world's highest-paid female athlete until the scandal, stunned the sporting world in March when she said she had tested positive for meldonium, a drug she said she had been taking for a decade to treat diabetes and magnesium deficiency.
The ban means she will miss August's Rio Olympics while the earliest Grand Slam she could next compete in will be the French Open in 2018.