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Maria Sharapova Suspended From Tennis For Two Years For Doping

The tennis star immediately said she will appeal.

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Tennis star Maria Sharapova has been suspended for two years by the International Tennis Foundation (ITF) for doping.

Sharapova tested positive for meldonium, a World Anti-Doping Agency-banned substance, following a Jan. 26 urine test. Sharapova admitted to the ITF and to the press in March that she had used the substance.

Sharapova said she had been taking a medicine known to her as mildronate, which she said she did not know is also called meldonium, for 10 years, and that the WADA had only added meldonium to the list of banned substances starting January 2016. She characterized the doping as unintentional.

The tennis player had a hearing in May in front of an independent tribunal, after which it was determined she should be suspended for two years retroactive to Jan. 26 and have the results of her Australian Open "disqualified."

On Facebook, Sharapova said she would appeal the suspension to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, calling the two-year suspension "unfairly harsh."

In the tribunal's report on Sharapova's suspension, it said she is the "sole author of her own misfortune":

The contravention of the anti-doping rules was not intentional as Ms Sharapova did not appreciate that Mildronate contained a substance prohibited from 1 January 2016. However she does bear sole responsibility for the contravention, and very significant fault, in failing to take any steps to check whether the continued use of this medicine was permissible. If she had not concealed her use of Mildronate from the anti-doping authorities, members of her own support team and the doctors whom she consulted, but had sought advice, then the contravention would have been avoided.

The tribunal's full report and Sharapova's notice of appeal are below:

Lindsey Adler is a sports reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Lindsey Adler at lindsey.adler@buzzfeed.com.

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