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WTA confirms Sharapova’s comeback at Stuttgart tournament in April

March 13, 12:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Teh Russian tennis star has already picked up wildcards for tennis tournaments in Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome

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Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova

© EPA/THAIS LLORCA

MOSCOW, March 13. /TASS/. The Women Tennis Association (WTA) confirmed on Monday Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova’s right to participate in the tennis tournament in Stuttgart next month, according to a statement from the association.

The 29-year-old Sharapova has already picked up wildcards for tennis tournaments in Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome, as she is making her return to the circle of the WTA following her suspension for doping rules violation.

"Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova becomes eligible to play WTA tournaments on Wednesday, April 26, following a 15-month suspension," the statement from the WTA said.

"As both a former Grand Slam champion and WTA Finals winner, Sharapova may request and receive an unlimited number of wildcard nominations, including the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (in Stuttgart), where the Russian will make her return," the statement said.

"In compliance with WTA and the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme rules, Sharapova can participate in a tournament in the week that her suspension ends, providing that the first match that she is scheduled to contest takes place on or after the day on which she is eligible to return to competition," the statement added.

Currently serving a provisional suspension, Sharapova is set to make her comeback following a doping ban on April 26 at the tennis tournament in Stuttgart.

The tennis player has been serving a two-year suspension for the violation of anti-doping regulations since January 26 last year. However, the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled on October 4, 2016 to reduce her suspension term from 24 to 15 months.

In March last year, Sharapova announced that her doping tests revealed the presence of banned performance enhancing drug meldonium in the body system. Following the announcement, former World’s No. 1 was provisionally suspended from all tennis-related activities, including from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.

Sharapova is Russia’s most well-known tennis player having won a total of five Grand Slam tournaments, namely Australian Open in 2008, French Open in 2012 and 2014, Wimbledon in 2004 and US Open in 2006.

She is also a silver medal winner of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and the 2008 Federations Cup champion.

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