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Maria Sharapova Maria Sharapova banned over meldonium use

Maria Sharapova has been banned for two years after failing a drugs test at the Australian Open, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has confirmed.

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Maria Sharapova has been banned for two years by an independent tribunal after failing a drugs test at the Australian Open, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has confirmed.

Grand Slam champion Sharapova was provisionally banned by the ITF in March after testing positive for meldonium in Melbourne.

Meldonium was added to WADA's prohibited list at the start of the year, a move Sharapova claimed to be unaware of.

The ban is backdated to 26 January 2016, rendering Sharapova ineligible to compete for the next 18 months, pending an appeal. The next slam the 29-year-old Russian will be able to play in will be the 2018 French Open.

An ITF statement confirmed: "Ms. Sharapova should serve a period of ineligibility of two years… due to her prompt admission of her violation.

"Her results at the 2016 Australian Open should be disqualified, with resulting forfeiture of the ranking points and prize money that she won at that event."

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