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MOSCOW, October 4. /TASS/. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has reduced the suspension term for Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova, banned for two years over doping-related charges since January 26, and she can return to sports starting April 26 next year, Shamil Tarpishchev, the president of the Russian Tennis Federation (RTF), told TASS on Tuesday.
"It is good that the suspension term has been reduced," Tarpishchev said in an interview with TASS. "They (CAS) decided to uphold our appeal since they Sharapova is a clean athlete."
"It will depend completely on her whether she will be able to return to her previous level of playing," the RTF chief said. "However, we want her to play for the national team and win the next Olympic Games."
On June 9, Sharapova filed an appeal with the CAS in Switzerland’s Lausanne against her two-year suspension, which was imposed on June 8 by the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) Tribunal over anti-doping violations.
Due to the imposed ban world’s former No. 1 Sharapova had to miss the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, held in August in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro.
In early March, Sharapova announced that her doping tests revealed the presence of performance enhancing drug meldonium in the body system. Following the announcement, former World’s No. 1 was provisionally suspended from all tennis-related activities.
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).
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.