Maria Sharapova’s issues with banned substance have led to a two-year suspension. On Wednesday, the International Tennis Federation handed down that punishment. The five-time Grand Slam Champion tested positive for meldonium, a drug designed to increase blood and oxygen flow.
On Jan. 1, meldonium was added to the banned substance list by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Upon learning of the suspension, Sharapova immediately responded stating she will appeal the punishment.
“I cannot accept an unfairly harsh two-year suspension,” Sharapova said. “The tribunal, whose members were selected by the ITF, agreed that I did not do anything intentionally wrong, yet they seek to keep me from playing tennis for two years.”
Sharapova and the Russian Tennis Federation hope to have this cleared in time to allow her to participate in the August Rio de Janeiro Olympics.