London, June 8 (IANS) Russian star Maria Sharapova was banned for two years by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) on Wednesday after a failed drugs test.
The 29-year-old 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.
“An Independent Tribunal appointed under Article 8.1 of the 2016 Tennis Anti-Doping Programme has found that Maria Sharapova committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.1 of the programme and as a consequence has disqualified the affected results and imposed a period of ineligibility of two years, commencing on 26 January 2016,” ITF said in a statement.
“Sharapova, a 29-year-old player from Russia, provided a urine sample on January 26 2016, after her quarter-final match at the 2016 Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia.”
Sharapova has been included in Russia’s Olympic squad. It wasn’t immendiately clear what her fate would be regarding the quadrennial mega event.