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Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova's dreams of competing at next month's Rio Olympics were dashed after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Monday delayed the decision on her two-year doping ban to September 19.

In a statement published on the court's official website, the CAS said: "In her appeal to the CAS, Sharapova seeks the annulment of the Tribunal's decision to sanction her with a two-year period of ineligibility further to an anti-doping rule violation. Sharapova submits that the period of ineligibility should be eliminated, or in the alternative, reduced. The final decision will be announced and published by CAS when it is available."

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Danish tennis player Caroline Wozniacki said on Thursday that the two-year ban of Maria Sharapova due to doping offence is a "sad situation" for the sport.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced on Wednesday the sanction against the Russian tennis player after she tested positive for Meldonium on January 26.

The ITF confirmed that the two-year ban is backdated to that day and ends on January 26, 2018, in accordance with Article 8.1 of the anti-doping programme.

"It's always a sad situation when someone is getting banned or you have heard they have failed a drug test, not only for Maria but for tennis in general," Wozniacki told the BBC. "Tennis has a really strong anti-drug policy in place and it helps the sport really keep clean," she added.

 

Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova was banned today for two years by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) at a hearing held to review her failed drug test at the Australian Open earlier this year.

The 29-year-old former Wimbledon Champion was provisionally banned in March after testing positive for banned substance Meldonium at Australian Open in January. Meldonium was banned on January 1 this year. She said she has been taking since 2006 for health issues. The five-time Grand Slam winner said she will appeals against the decision.

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An Independent Tribunal appointed under Article 8.1 of the 2016 Tennis Anti-Doping Programme has found that tennis star Maria Sharapova committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation and as a consequence has imposed a period of ineligibility of two years, commencing on 26 January 2016.

Sharapova, a 29-year-old former Wimbledon champion from Russia, provided a urine sample on 26 January 2016, after her quarterfinal match at the 2016 Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia. That sample was sent to the WADA-accredited laboratory in Montreal, Canada for analysis, and was found to contain meldonium, which is a metabolic modulator that is included under section S4 (Hormone and Metabolic Modulators) of the 2016 WADA Prohibited List, and therefore is also prohibited under the Programme.

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maria_sharapova1Former Wimbledon Champion Maria Sharapova announced in a press conference today that she failed a drug test at the Australian Open, and as a result has been provisionally suspended from playing tennis by the sport's governing body the International Tennis Federation pending a formal investigation into the matter.

To her credit, Sharapova made the announcement herself and apologized to her fans for letting them down, also admitting that she didn't know she was taken a drug on the banned substance list, claiming that she had been prescribed the same by her family doctor way back in 2006, and has been taking it on a fairly regular basis since then.

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World no.1 Serena Williams stayed on course for a record equaling 22nd Grand Slam title, crushing long term rival Maria Sharapova in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1 to advance to the Australian Open semi-finals. Joining her in the final of the year's first Grand Slam is the no.4 seed Agnieszka Radwanska, a 6-1, 6-3 winner herself against 10th seed Carla Suarez Navarro.

Radwanska opened proceedings on Rod Laver Arena this morning, and raced to a 4-0 lead as the Spaniard, a notoriously slow starter, struggled to compete with the always consistent Pole early on. Radwanska was done with the first set in a hurry, taking it 6-1.

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It was the quarter-final match-up that stood out when the women's draw was made a week back, and top seed Serena Williams and former champion Maria Sharapova have each lived up to their end of the bargain, cementing their spot in the Australian Open quarter-finals.

In a rematch of last year's final, won by defending champion Serena Williams, the American blasé as ever declared after her fourth round triumph today that she had no idea who her quarter-final opponent might be as she just doesn't look that far ahead into the draw when it is made.

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