Brennan: Sharapova, world-class cheater

USA TODAY Sports’ Nick McCarvel discusses Maria Sharapova’s two0year ban for testing positive for the banned substance meldonium at the Australian Open.

If this is it for 29-year-old Maria Sharapova, and it certainly could be, it’s such an inglorious ending.

It’s also a well-deserved one.

When one of the world’s iconic athletes willfully disregards repeated email warnings that a drug she has been taking for 10 years is being banned, and continues to use it after the ban, and hides the fact that she is taking it from her doctors, there’s only one word for that kind of behavior: cheating.

The International Tennis Federation suspended Sharapova for two years Wednesday for testing positive not once but twice in 2016 for the banned substance meldonium. She immediately said she will appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, hoping to lessen her suspension.

We’ll see how that goes, but either way, she will not be able to represent Russia at August’s Olympic Games in Rio, and will likely miss the entirety of the 2016 Grand Slam season as well….

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