Famous Russian tennis player has been banned for playing international tennis for two years by International Tennis Federation for using a recently listed prohibited drug. Initially, Maria was provisionally banned in March 2016 for using the drug meldonium in January during Australian Open. Sharapova said the decision is harsh. She has been using this drug since 2006 while it was prohibited in January 2016 and she was unaware about the decision. Sharapova vowed to challenge the decision while the ban will start from January 2016.
ITF was of the view that her act was intentional and she should be banned for 4 years while Sharapova rejected this and claimed that it was an unintentional act. The tennis star said that she will appeal against the decision and she will miss her fans and tennis due to this decision. The decision will be reviewed by world anti-doping agency (WADA).
Maria won her first tournament at the age of 17 in 2004 when she won Wimbledon. Later in 2006 and 2008, she won US Open and Australian Open respectively. She won French Open twice in 2012 and 2014.
The two year ban on Maria Sharapova became headline while former world no 1 Caroline Wozniacki expressed sorry for this decision.