Tennis: CAS to rule next month on Sharapova's appeal against two-year doping ban

The Court of Arbitration for Sport will be ruling on tennis player Maria Sharapova's appeal against a two-year ban.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport will be ruling on tennis player Maria Sharapova's appeal against a two-year ban. PHOTO: REUTERS/USA TODAY SPORTS

(Reuters) - A decision on former world No. 1 tennis player Maria Sharapova's appeal against a two-year doping ban will be made in the first week of next month, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said on Tuesday.

Five-time Grand Slam winner Sharapova, 29, was banned by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in June following a positive test for the banned drug meldonium during January's Australian Open.

Sharapova was named in Russia's official entry list for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro but the CAS decided in July to defer its decision on her appeal against the ban.

Sharapova is seeking to have her ITF suspension wiped out or reduced. She had called the ruling "unfairly harsh" as an independent tribunal found that she had not intentionally violated anti-doping rules.

Meldonium was added to the list of banned substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) at the start of the year after mounting evidence that it boosted blood flow and enhanced athletic performance.