Sharapova's Meldonium ban reduced, comeback in April 2017

The Court of Arbitration set aside the previous ruling of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in the case brought by the ITF against Maria Sharapova's Meldonium use, reducing the Russian's ban from two years to 15 months after concluding that she did not endeavor to mark or hide her use of the drug.


Based on the evidence, the Panel emphasized that Sharapova was not an intentional doper and a cheating athlete, but she does bear some fault for not carefully monitoring changes in prohibited substances, therefore, there is no full reduction of the sentence. Precisely, Sharapova is allowed to return to competitive tennis on April 26th, 2017.

Sharapova will come back to the WTA circuit as a 30-year-old and she can't wait:

In so many ways, I feel like something I love was taken away from me and it will feel really good to have it back. Tennis is my passion and I have missed it. I am counting the days until I can return to the court.


There is also some criticism of the ITF in Masha's official statement:

I have taken responsibility from the very beginning for not knowing that the over-the-counter supplement I had been taking for the last ten years was no longer allowed. But I also learned how much better other Federations were at notifying their athletes of the rule change, especially in Eastern Europe where Mildronate is commonly taken by millions of people.

Some sponsors quickly left Sharapova when the doping bas was issued, some, like Head, stood by her. Porsche was among those that distanced themselves and now they're back in the Sharapova camp.

5 thoughts on “Sharapova's Meldonium ban reduced, comeback in April 2017

  1. Jim

    I am sure that Masha has been training, but nothing is like competitive play to keep you fresh. She will probably be a little rusty come late April, and I don't expect her to do well during the clay and grass court seasons next year. But maybe by US Open time she will be back to form. It will be good to have her back, though.

    Seems that while she was "off" Maria may be getting endorsements from Evian, as she was hanging around one of the LPGA majors in the French Alps. And maybe hanging around good people like golfers Lydia Ko and Brittany Lang swayed the Court of Arbitration. Love the picture of Sharapova towering over Ko. Also Sharapova sent Lydia some Sugarpova candies, which Lydia ate right up!

  2. JohnnyB

    It is interesting to note Maria received 3 months longer suspension than a man who committed a similar perhaps slightly worse rule infraction.
    The number of negative comments by the haters astound me. They are worse than the Serena haters.
    It is interesting to find out players including Serena and Venus have been secretly taking banned drugs for years. These actions are approved and are allowed because they received a dispensation because of injury. It seems very complicated – this drug policing policy.

  3. kueyseyra

    Never a big fan of Maria and never will be. But she deserves to come back. She's a fighter.

    Anyway everyone has to admit there are big holes in WTA at this period. Maria will continue to be away till mid of next year, Serena is struggling a bit, Vika is not there, Ana is out of sort (as usual) and other players lack of commercial power and intensity really drop down the level in WTA. Don't really know whether I'm the only one with this feeling but every tournament nowadays seems so boring. Hopefully things will get better next year…

  4. Sabey

    Maria hasn't won a slam since the 2014 French open. Her career was winding down before the ban and it's not likely to improve now.
    She wasn't a factor before and she's unlikely to be one after. I don't know why people even care about this now.

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