Maria Sharapova has been banned from pro tennis for two years by the International Tennis Federation. The Russian five-time Grand Slam winner tested positive for meldonium – a prohibited drug – back in January.
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Sharapova claims she’s been on the heart disease medication since 2006, but knew it by another name – mildronate – so she wasn’t aware the drug became a banned substance on January 1, 2016. The 29-year-old says that her offense was “unintentional” and she will appeal the ITF’s decision.
“I intend to stand for what I believe is right and that’s why I will fight to be back on the tennis court as soon as possible,” Sharapova said. The two-year suspension could cost her $50 million, according to Forbes.
Meldonium is thought to improve endurance and stamina. Twenty-seven Russian athletes have tested positive for the drug this year.