On Tuesday, Russian tennis superstar Maria Sharapova won her appeal against the world’s biggest sports court. She attacked the decision to be suspended from tennis for two years, following a doping test which came out positive. Her punishment will now be of just nine months. The Court said that the previous decision was too long for an unintentional act.
A 2017 return
The 29-year-old tennis player was found positive for meldonium. This is a drug especially prescribed for heart problems. Recently, it has been banned by the regulators, during Australian Open, at the start of this year. After Sharapova was announced of her result, she made the decision public in March. According to the International Tennis Federation, Sharapova can now return to tennis on April 26, 2017. The timing will be just right for her to compete in the French Open and Wimbledon. If she would not have won the appeal, she would have stayed out of the game until January 25, 2018.
The strength to bounce back
This will not only help Sharapova tennis-wise, but also, it can help bring back sponsors. Many of them canceled their contracts with her after the result of the anti-doping test. Some companies, like her equipment one Nike, supported the tennis player. But many others, including Porsche, said that they would wait for a final decision in order to act. Recently, a representative of the car company said that a future collaboration will be discussed with Sharapova. In a statement, the star herself admitted to going from one of the worst days of her sports career to now, one of the absolute best.
“Justice has been served!”
Head, the company which takes care of her tennis racquets issued a statement in which they think that “justice has been served”. The company’s chairman said that there are some big flaws in the system which deals with doping problems. Those problems might get solved on Saturday, when sports officials are going to meet in Switzerland to further discuss an anti-doping reform.
What is Meldonium
Meldonium is a drug which has only now, in 2016 been banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency. It helps with an athlete’s regeneration and recovery, as well as with some cardiac diseases. Sharapova admitted to using the drug since 2006, but she was reportedly unaware of the fact that it has been banned. She said that she did not read an email from last year, which explained the possibility that Meldonium would be banned in 2016.
Initially, her suspension would have lasted for four years. But the Tennis Federation acknowledged the fact that she had taken the drug unintentionally, and reduced the suspension to two years. Now, she has only 9 months.
Many other tennis players did not believe that Sharapova had taken Meldonium accidentally, while others supported her story. But those who did not believe it were the grand majority. All in all, we cannot say for sure what happened there, but one thing is sure. One someone makes a mistake, they pay for it. We should keep this in mind.
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