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MOSCOW, April 21. /TASS/. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) will announce its decision regarding former World’s No. 1 Maria Sharapova’s doping case in the second half of next month, Shamil Tarpishchev, the president of the Russian Tennis Federation (RTF), told TASS on Thursday.
Tarpishchev held talks on Thursday with ITF officials in Switzerland’s Lausanne, which hosts on April 17-22 the 2016 SportAccord Convention, also referred to as World Sport and Business Summit.
"We have discussed key issues in the world of tennis during the meeting," Tarpishchev said in an interview with TASS. "We have discussed Sharapova’s situation as well."
"I have no rights disclosing the details on the issue, but can say that there would be no decisions made in regard to Sharapova before the middle of May," Tarpishchev added.
Early last month Sharapova told a news conference in Los Angeles that recent doping tests revealed the presence of performance enhancing drug meldonium in her body system. A decision regarding her sports career in view of doping accusations should be made by the ITF Tribunal.
The ITF announced in its statement a week ago that the Tribunal would take into account recent recommendations made by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) while reviewing Sharapova’s doping-abuse case.
WADA announced on April 13 that the concentration of less than one microgram of meldonium in the body system of an athlete, whose doping tests were conducted before March 1, was acceptable.
In line with the ITF regulations, initial hearings on an alleged doping abuse by a tennis player should take place within three weeks after the results of the doping tests were announced. In case with Sharapova the hearings should have begun on March 23.
The drug meldonium (mildronate) was included in the list of preparations banned by WADA from January 1, 2016. The presence of the meldonium substance in the athlete’s blood during and between competitions is a violation of anti-doping rules. The substance belongs to S4 class on the WADA blacklist (hormones and metabolic modulators).
Meldronate is a cardiovascular preparation freely available for purchase at pharmacies across Russia without doctor’s prescription.