Maria Sharapova's Tennis Ban Reduced By 9 Months
The 29-year-old tennis pro was originally banned for two years for using a banned substance, but now will be able to return to the tennis court in April of 2017.
“I’ve gone from one of the toughest days of my career last March when I learned about my suspension to now, one of my happiest days, as I found out I can return to tennis in April,” Maria wrote on Facebook. “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. I have learned from this, and I hope the ITF has as well. CAS concluded that ‘the Panel has determined it does not agree with many of the conclusions of the [ITF] Tribunal…’”
“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,” Maria added. “And to my fans, I thank you so much for living and breathing so many of these tough months together. During this time, I have learned the true meaning of a fan and I am so fortunate to have had your support.”