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Hearing into Sharapova's meldonium case not to take place before June

May 17, 9:01 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The hearings into the case of Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova suspended from competitions for meldonium use will not take place before June — the president of the Russian Tennis Federation,
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© Valeriy Sharifulin/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, May 17. /TASS/. The hearings into the case of Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova suspended from competitions for meldonium use will not take place before June, Shamil Tarpishchev, the president of the Russian Tennis Federation, told TASS.

"Sharapova’s situation is complicated. The thing is that she admitted that she had taken meldonium. The case will not be considered so long as the two laboratories do not study the preparation. I believe that’s not going to happen earlier than June," Tarpishchev said.

The meldonium concentration in the blood sample of Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova exceeds the permissible level, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said in an interview aired by Match TV, a Russian public sports channel, on April 27.

"Masha’s case is more complicated. The [meldonium] concentration in her blood is above the norm. Masha took the formula for several year on her doctor’s prescription. I am not going to announce if she will be able to avoid punishment or not. We just want her to restore her position in sport," Mutko stressed.

Early in March, Sharapova announced that her 2016 Australian Open blood sample contained meldonioum, which the World Anti-Doping Agency had blacklisted as a prohibited formula as of January 1, 2016. The formula refers to S4 class in the WADA list (hormones and metabolism modulators).

Athletes use meldonium (mildronate) to strengthen endurance to physical strains during training sessions as well as for easing emotional, nervous and psychological stresses at competitions.

Sharapova was temporarily suspended from tennis competitions as of March 12. She received a letter of notification about a positive doping test on March 2.

The maximum term of disqualification for meldonium use is 4 years. The disqualification period is calculated from the date of temporary suspension - as of March 12 in Sharapova’s case. A tennis player, the ITF and WADA have the right to appeal the decision in the course of 21 days since the moment the notification is received.

Sharapova is the winner of five Grand Slam tennis tournaments. She has also won a Federation Cup final as part of the Russian national team. She is also a woman singles silver medalist at the London Olympic Games. All in all, Sharapova has won 38 WTA tennis tournaments, including 35 in singles. The 2016 Olympic Games will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on August 5-21.

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