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Maria Sharapova to miss Olympics after agreeing to postpone doping appeal

Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova speaks at a press conference in downtown Los Angeles, California, March 7, 2016. The former world number one announced she failed a doping test at the Australian Open, saying a change in the World-Anti-Doping Agency banned list led to the violation. (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Tennis champion Maria Sharapova’s appeal of a two-year doping ban has been postponed until September, officially ruling out the Russian superstar from competing for Russia during the Olympics. A decision had been due on the appeal next Monday, but a representative of the court of arbitration for sport said that Sharapova and the ITF agreed to postpone a decision so that they could both better prepare their cases and avoid “scheduling conflicts.” Had Sharapova won her appeal, she would have been eligible to compete in the Olympics in August.

Sharapova filed her appeal last month after being banned by the International Tennis Federation for testing positive for meldonium at the Australian open in January. Sharapova, who admitted to failing the test, had said that she took the drug for health reasons over a 10-year period before the drug’s recent ban in competitive tennis. While it was found that Sharapova did not intentionally violate the ITF’s anti-doping rules, Sharapova was nonetheless found responsible for competing with the drug in her system and for concealing her use of meldonium from authorities, coaches, and her team.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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