Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova appeals two-year doping ban

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Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova, who is one of the world’s most successful female athletes, has appealed her two-year suspension by world’s tennis governing body ITF to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Sharapova, 29, was suspended after the ITF determined that she had used Mildronate during the 2016 Australian Open in January. The substance, which is used to treat a lack of blood flow, was only banned on January 1 and the tennis player claims she was not aware of the change.

“Ms Sharapova submits that the period of ineligibility should be eliminated, or in the alternative, reduced,” the court said in a statement on Tuesday. It said both Sharapova and the International Tennis Federation have agreed to an expedited procedure, and a decision is expected by July 18 at the latest.

“It has not been decided whether or not a hearing would be held in this manner,” the court said, adding that the procedure will remain confidential until a decision has been made.

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