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CAS reduces Sharapova’s ban to 15-months

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CAS reduces Sharapova’s ban to 15-months

Grand slam champion, Maria Sharapova’s two-year doping ban has been reduced to 15 months following her appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The five-time Grand Slam winner, 29, was initially banned by the International Tennis Federation for two years after testing positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.

Meldonium, a heart disease drug, became a banned substance on 1 January 2016.

Sharapova said she had been taking the drug since 2006 for health problems and had “not tried to use a performance-enhancing substance”.

She said she was unaware the drug had been added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list.

The former world number one said she could not “accept” the “unfairly harsh” ban when it was announced by the ITF in June.

The CAS panel said it found Sharapova’s case “was not about an athlete who cheated”.

The Russian will be able to return to the tennis court on 26 April, 2017.

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