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Sharapova appeals 2-year doping ban; court ruling by July 18


AP
5:20 p.m. EDT June 14, 2016

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Maria Sharapova appealed her two-year doping ban to the highest court in sports on Tuesday, and an expedited ruling will be issued next month ahead of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Sharapova filed an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport seeking to overturn or reduce the suspension imposed by the International Tennis Federation last week. The Russian tested positive for meldonium at the Australian Open in January, taking it before each match at that tournament even though the substance was banned at the start of 2016.

The court said both sides agreed to an “expedited procedure” that will allow the court to issue its ruling by July 18, at the latest. So if the suspension is thrown out, Sharapova would be eligible to compete at the Rio Games, which open Aug. 5.

CAS said it hasn’t decided whether to hold a hearing.

Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam champion and former No. 1-ranked player, announced last week she would appeal her suspension. An independent three-person panel appointed by the ITF said Sharapova did not intend to cheat because she didn’t know meldonium was banned,…

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