Banned Sharapova ‘to play’ at Olympics

Sharapova in action at the 2012 Olympics in London, where she won a silver medal

Sharapova won a silver medal at the 2012 Olympics in London

Russia’s tennis chief says he expects Maria Sharapova to play at the 2016 Olympics despite her shock announcement that she failed a drugs test.

The Games in Rio de Janeiro start on 5 August.

Sharapova, 28, tested positive for meldonium, a substance she has been taking since 2006 for health issues.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) said the Russian five-time Grand Slam champion would be provisionally suspended from 12 March.

Sharapova could face up to a four-year ban.

But Russian Tennis Federation president Shamil Tarpishchev told the TASS news agency: “I think this is just a load of nonsense.

“The sportsmen take what they are given by the physiotherapists and by the doctors.

“I think Sharapova will play at the Olympics. However, we will need to see how this will develop.”

She revealed she failed a drugs test at January’s Australian Open at a news conference in Los Angeles on Monday.

“I did fail the test and take full responsibility for it,” said the former world number one, who won Wimbledon as a 17-year-old in 2004.

Sportswear giant Nike has already suspended its contract with the player.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Maria Sharapova reveals Australian Open failed drugs test

comments powered by Disqus