MOSCOW, October 24. /TASS/. Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova, who is currently under suspension on doping-related charges, will return to the ranking list of the Women Tennis Association (WTA) following her performance at three official tournaments next year, a senior official with the Russian Tennis Federation (RTF) told TASS on Monday.
According to the newly published weekly ranking list of the WTA, former World’s No.1 Sharapova dropped out of the global top-100 female tennis players.
"Sharapova’s departure from the WTA ranking list is a matter of technical details," RTF Vice President Alexei Selivanenko said in an interview with TASS. "She needs to take part in at least three tournaments in order to regain her stance in the ranking list."
"She lost the minimal required quota (to stay in the ranking list) of three tournaments since she had not played since the beginning of this year," Selivanenko said. "However, she will resume playing next year and, as soon she competes in three tournaments she will be back in the ranking list."
"There are no doubts that she will be granted wild-cards from tournaments’ organizers and she will return to the ranking list," he added.
Sharapova, who is currently under suspension over anti-doping rules violations, have been allowed by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to play at exhibition matches before her ban expires.
The tennis player 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.