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ITF allows Maria Sharapova to play at exhibition tennis tournaments

October 11, 2016, 14:29 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian player is now eligible to officially return back to tennis courts starting April 26 next year

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© AP Photo/Isaac Brekken

MOSCOW, October 11. /TASS/. Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova can participate in exhibition matches as it does not violate the terms of her current suspension, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) told TASS.

Sharapova, who is currently under suspension over anti-doping rules violations, participated recently in the exhibition matches at the tennis tournament in Las Vegas.

"Exhibition events are not covered events under the Tennis Anti-Doping Program so Sharapova is able to participate," the ITF said in its statement addressed to TASS.

Sharapova has been serving a two-year suspension for the violation of anti-doping regulations since January 26. However, the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled October 4 to reduce her suspension term from 24 to 15 months.

The Russian player is now eligible to officially return back to tennis courts starting April 26 next year.

In early March, Sharapova was first to announce 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.

On June 9, Sharapova filed an appeal with the CAS in Switzerland’s Lausanne against her two-year suspension, which was officially announced on June 8 by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Tribunal over anti-doping violations.

Due to the imposed ban Sharapova, the silver Olympic medalist of the 2012 Games in London, had to miss the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, held in August in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro.

Mildronate is a cardiovascular preparation freely available for purchase at pharmacies across Russia without a doctor’s prescription.

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