Sharapova to find out doping appeal decision in October

Maria Sharapova is set to learn the fate of her appeal against a two-year ban for doping in early October. 

It is the second time the verdict has been delayed as Sharapova initially hoped to receive a fast-track verdict in July in order to have a chance of competing at the Rio Olympics. 

With lawyers for both parties needing more time to prepare ahead of the verdict, the decision was initially postponed to September 19. 

When that deadline passed, the CAS said inow hope to deliver their verdict in the first week of October. 

Sharapova admitted in March that she had taken meldonium before all her matches at the Australian Open this year. As meldonium had been added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances on January 1, 2016, Sharapova was banned for two years by the ITF in June. 

The 29-year-old claimed that she did not realise the Latvian-made drug, also known as mildronate, had been banned this year. She added that she had been prescribed the drug, predominantly used for heart conditions, in 2006 for medical reasons. 

Even though a three-person panel appointed by the ITF decided that Sharapova had no intention of cheating, they insisted that the five-time grand slam champion should bear “sole responsibility” and “very significant fault” for not being more cautious. 

Should Sharapova’s appeal be shot down, her ban will conclude on January 25, 2018.