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Sharapova may return to tennis in January — tennis federation head

A decision will be made in September
Maria Sharapova and Shamil Tarpishchev Vladimir Astalkovich/TASS
Maria Sharapova and Shamil Tarpishchev
© Vladimir Astalkovich/TASS

RIO DE JANEIRO, August 15. /TASS/. Russian woman tennis player Maria Sharapova, disqualified for two years for violating anti-doping rules, may start competing again as of January 2017, the president of Russia’s tennis federation, Shamil Tarpishchev has told the media.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport last July declared that a ruling in the Sharapova doping case will be pronounced before September 19, thereby denying her a chance to participate in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

"A decision will be made in September. I’m not certain but I believe that she’ll start playing as of January 2017," Tarpishchev said.

Early last March Sharapova said that at the 2016 Australian Open she had tested positive for meldonium, a substance the World Anti-Doping Agency WADA outlawed starting from January 1, 2016.

On March 12, Sharapova was temporarily barred from all sports competitions. On June 8 the International Tennis Federation disqualified her for two years. The penalty has been in force since January 26, 2016. On June 9, Sharapova filed an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Sharapova is a five-time winner of Grand Slam tournaments. She has a victory in the Federation Cup and a silver medal from the London Olympics in women’s singles under her belt. All in all she has won 38 tournaments in the Women’s Tennis Association, including 35 in women’s singles.