After months of speculation, the verdict of Maria Sharapova’s fate after she admitted to banned substance use has finally come forward. The former world number 1 has been banned for two years from competitive tennis. Earlier in March she had announced in a press conference that she had tested positive for banned substance Meldonium. Sharapova maintained that she took the drug unintentionally as she failed to read the updated list of banned substances and was unaware Meldonium was added to the list this year. She was taking a medicine called “Mildronate” for the last 10 years which happened to contain Meldonium.
According to report, ITF had claimed a 4 year suspension which is the norm for intentional performance enhancing drug abuse but the tribunal concluded that the use was unintentional. However the tribunal commented in the verdict, “She is the sole author of her misfortune.” Sharapova deemed the verdict harsh and will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. After the incident came to light, Sharapova lost endorsements of Nike and Tag Heuer. If the decision is not overturned, her career could be jeopardised after a two year ban.