The 29-year-old Maria Sharapova is banned for two years on Wednesday according to the International Tennis Federation (ITF) due to the failing of a drug test. On January 26, Sharapova was tested positive for meldonium after the Australian Open where she lost to Serena William in the quarterfinals.
Meldonium is an illegal-substance which enhances performance by raising blood flow in return allowing more oxygen to be present in muscles. The World Anti-Doping Agency banned the usage of meldonium since January 1.
Sharapova started intake of the drug for medical reasons in 2006 when it was prescribed by her doctor. However, the tribunal of her case discovered that she departed from the doctor in 2010 but continued her intake of meldonium.
The tribunal said she was “the sole author of her own misfortune.”
Apparently, Sharapova hid the intake of the drug from her own team, coach, and nutritionist. It is said that only her manager, Max Eisenbud and her father knew about her taking the drug.
“The manner of its use, on match days and when undertaking intensive training, is only consistent with an intention to boost her energy levels… its concealment from the anti-doping authorities, her failure to disclose it even to her own team, and the lack of any medical justification must inevitably lead to the conclusion that she took mildronate (meldonium) for the purpose of enhancing her performance,” the panel stated.
The former no. 1 tennis star intends to appeal her case. She described her ruling as “an unfairly harsh” punishment.