Sharapova lodges CAS appeal over two-year ban

The five-time grand-slam champion was provisionally banned by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in March after testing positive for banned substance meldonium at this year's Australian Open.

Maria Sharapova - cropped

Former world number one Sharapova claimed to be unaware that meldonium had been added to WADA's prohibited list at the start of 2016.

Maria Sharapova has lodged an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to challenge a two-year suspension which was imposed on her last week.

The five-time grand-slam champion was provisionally banned by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in March after testing positive for banned substance meldonium at this year's Australian Open.

> READ: Murray says Sharapova has no 'valid excuse'

Former world number one Sharapova claimed to be unaware that meldonium had been added to WADA's prohibited list at the start of 2016.

The ITF announced last Wednesday that an independent tribunal had handed out a two-year suspension on the Russian, backdated to January 26, 2016 - the date of her positive test in Melbourne.

Sharapova reacted by vowing to appeal against what the 29-year-old considers to be an "unfairly harsh" ban and it was confirmed on Tuesday that she has taken her case to CAS, with a judgement to be made on July 18 at the latest.

CAS said in a statement: "Maria Sharapova has filed an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the decision issued by the Tribunal appointed by the International Tennis Federation

"In her appeal to the CAS, Ms Sharapova seeks the annulment of the Tribunal's decision to sanction her with a two-year period of ineligibility further to an anti-doping rule violation. Ms Sharapova submits that the period of ineligibility should be eliminated, or in the alternative, reduced.

"The parties have agreed to an expedited procedure which will allow the CAS to render a decision, at the latest, on 18 July 2016. The final decision will be announced and published by CAS when it is available.

"It has not been decided whether or not a hearing would be held in this matter. In any event, at the request of the parties, this arbitration procedure will be kept confidential and the CAS will not comment any further on this matter." 

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