Lausanne: The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Tuesday reduced Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova’s two-year suspension over doping to 15 months.
She can return to the sport starting April 26 next year, President of the Russian Tennis Federation (RTF) Shamil Tarpishchev said, reports Tass.
“It is good that the suspension term has been reduced,” Tarpishchev said. “They (CAS) decided to uphold our appeal since Sharapova is a clean athlete.”
“It will depend completely on her whether she will be able to return to her previous level of playing,” the RTF chief said.
“However, we want her to play for the national team and win the next Olympic Games.”
Sharapova filed an appeal with the CAS on June 9 against the two-year suspension, which was imposed on June 8 by the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) tribunal over anti-doping violations.
Due to the imposed ban, the former No.1 had to miss the 2016 Rio Olympics.
In early March, Sharapova announced that her doping tests revealed the presence of performance enhancing drug Meldonium in the body system.
Following the announcement, she was provisionally suspended from all tennis-related activities.
The drug Meldonium was included in the list of preparations banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) from January 1, 2016.
The presence of the Meldonium in the athlete’s blood during and between competitions then became a violation of anti-doping rules. The substance belongs to S4 class on the WADA blacklist (hormones and metabolic modulators).
WADA announced on April 13 that the concentration of less than one microgram of Meldonium in the body system of an athlete, whose doping tests were conducted before March 1, was acceptable.