By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
On October 4th, 2016 at 9:09 am EST
Maria Sharapova was handed a two-year ban for taking an illegal substance. However, on Tuesday morning, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has dropped her suspension to now 15 months.
She’s eligible to return next April. She took meldonium at this year’s Australia Open, before being notified by the International Tennis Federation that she cheated.
“I hope… no other tennis player will have to go through what I went through…I’m coming back soon and I can’t wait,” Sharapova said.
She said she didn’t realize she took the banned substance. Meldonium is supposed to use for your heart; however, athlete use it illegally.
Sharapova — who was notified of her suspension in March — says she’s been taking the drug since 2006. However, it’s been a banned drug since January 1, 2016.
She said the suspension was unfair at the time and said immediately she was going to appeal.
The IFA said she failed drug tests on Jan. 26 following her loss to Serena Williams in the Australian Open. She also failed an out-of-competition drug test on February 2.
After her suspension, Nike suspended their partnership with Sharapova. Now, with this ruling, they may move forward with their partnership.
“I have missed playing tennis and I have missed my amazing fans… your love and support has gotten me through these tough days,” the 29-year-old said after her suspension.
“I intend to stand for what I believe is right and that’s why I will fight to be back on the tennis court as soon as possible.”
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