Sharapova’s anti-doping hearing on Wednesday

Maria Sharapova will appear in front of an anti-doping panel in London on Wednesday to learn her fate after she tested positive for the banned substance meldonium. 

The 29-year-old failed a drugs test during the Australian Open in January and has not competed since. 

Meldonium, which the Russian said she was using to treat a heart condition, was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned list on January 1 this year, but Sharapova continued taking the drug past that date as she said she did not know it had been added to the banned substance list. 

Sharapova, who claims to know meldonium by its other name, mildronate, has been taking the drug for health reasons for the past decade as it was recommended by her doctor. 

The drug, which is made in Latvia, is most commonly used by Eastern European athletes and according to WADA, there have been more than 300 athletes who have tested positive for the drug this year alone. 

The five-time grand slam champion could be hit with a four-year ban, but she is more likely to be suspended for between six and 12 months. A reduced suspension is expected as it is difficult to scientifically prove how long meldonium has been in a person’s body.