Banned Sharapova in Russia team for Rio

Maria Sharapova

Russia’s Maria Sharapova won a silver medal at London 2012

Maria Sharapova has been named in Russia’s tennis team for August’s Rio Olympics, despite currently serving a doping suspension.

The 29-year-old tested positive for meldonium at January’s Australian Open.

But the country’s tennis federation said Sharapova’s participation at Rio “should be resolved” this week.

Russia’s track and field athletes are banned from international competition over recent doping scandals, though other sports remain unaffected.


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Dan Roan reports from the discredited Moscow anti-doping laboratory

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) provisionally suspended the five-time Grand Slam champion on 12 March.

The World Anti-Doping Association (Wada) then admitted in April that scientists were unsure how long meldonium stayed in the system, suggesting athletes who tested positive for the substance before 1 March could avoid bans.

However, Sharapova has already admitted she continued taking meldonium past 1 January, when the substance was added to Wada’s banned list.

She is thought to have faced an anti-doping panel in London last week, with the Russian Tennis Federation saying at the time that Sharapova may never play again.

But the organisation’s president, Shamil Tarpischev, told R-Sport news agency on Thursday: “She has been put on our Olympic application. It has to be submitted by 6 June.”

If London 2012 silver medallist Sharapova is not able to compete, she will be replaced by Ekaterina Makarova, the world number 29.

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