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Tennis star Sharapova may play at 2020 Olympics - Russia’s tennis chief

January 04, 16:46 UTC+3 MOSCOW

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

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Maria Sharapova and Shamil Tarpishchev

Maria Sharapova and Shamil Tarpishchev

© Vladimir Astalkovich/TASS

MOSCOW, January 4. /TASS/. Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova may play at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, President of the Russian Tennis Federation Shamil Tarpishchev told TASS on Wednesday.

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

In early March, Sharapova was the first to announce that her doping tests revealed the presence of the 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.

In October, the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne cut the term of Sharapova’s suspension, allowing the tennis star to perform at official sport events from April 26, 2017.

"Sharapova may play for the Russian team and is able to win gold at the 2020 Olympics. The sole question here is her wish," Tarpishchev said.

"In late April, Sharapova is returning to participation in tournaments. We’ll see how quickly she will be able to return to the high level. The world of sports is not standing idle and is moving quickly but we all know that Sharapova is a professional and everything depends on her herself," he said.

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.

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