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Maria Sharapova career likely over with two-year tennis ban

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Maria Sharapova

Monday the International Tennis Federation essentially laid the death penalty on Russian Tennis star Maria Sharapova for testing positive for the banned substance¬†meldonium ESPN reports. The actual penalty… two years which Sharapova already said she’d appeal.

Here’s a statement released by Sharapova on the career damning penalty:

“The ITF tribunal unanimously concluded that what I did was not intentional,” Sharapova said in a statement. “The tribunal found that I did not seek treatment from my doctor for the purpose of obtaining a performance enhancing substance. The ITF spent tremendous amount of time and resources trying to prove I intentionally violated the anti-doping rules and the tribunal concluded I did not. You need to know that the ITF asked the tribunal to suspend me for four years — the required suspension for an intentional violation — and the tribunal rejected the ITF’s position.”

“I cannot accept an unfairly harsh two-year suspension,” Sharapova said. “The tribunal, whose members were selected by the ITF, agreed that I did not do anything intentionally wrong, yet they seek to keep me from playing tennis for two years.”

Before you think a two-year ban is harsh, which it undoubtedly is considering Sharapova isn’t denying taking the banned substance, the ITF originally wanted to ban her four years. That ungodly ruling however was never able to come down since it was determined Sharapova didn’t intentionally take the banned substance which you would think would weigh into reducing the two-year ban.

Anyways, at 29 years old and competing in a sport that see’s the twilight of a career happen in your late 20’s, yes Sharapova’s career is probably over, at least in the WTA. But after the overly done suspension by the ITF you can certainly draw comparisons to Martina Hingis who suffered a similar fate but was able to come back in some capacity as a doubles competitor.

Either way, Sharapova’s suspension is wildly unfair considering what she admitted to and the ITF determining on their own that she didn’t intend to break the rules. Not to mention the harshness of these bans is ironic as hell when you consider the match fixing accusations tennis has gone through in the past.

 

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