Tags: maria sharapova | return | tennis | doping

Maria Sharapova Returns to Tennis After Doping Suspension

Image: Maria Sharapova Returns to Tennis After Doping Suspension

Tennis player Maria Sharapova competes in the World TeamTennis Smash Hits charity tennis event benefiting the Elton John AIDS Foundation at Caesars Palace on Oct. 10, 2016, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (John Gurzinkski/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 24 Apr 2017 06:15 PM

Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova is set to return to tennis this week following a 15-month suspension after testing positive for meldonium.

Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam winner, will return to the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany, on Wednesday against Italian 2015 U.S. Open runner-up Roberta Vinci. She is expected to face Agnieszka Radwanska and Dominika Cibulkova in the second and thirds rounds of play, ESPN reported, but after that, her draw is unknown.

The tennis champion has said throughout her suspension that she has been taking meldonium since 2006 because of her risks of heart disease and diabetes due to family history, and that she and her agent didn’t see the email informing them the drug was banned in January 2016, according to ESPN. Meldonium can have the effect of increasing an athlete’s exercise capacity.

Sharapova will not be ranked for her return because of the length of her suspension. She had been ranked fourth in the world prior to her suspension.

It isn’t clear whether Sharapova will be able to compete in the French Open or Wimbledon, but she may be able to do so through wild-card slots if the tournaments will award them to her, ESPN reported.

If other female tennis champions who have had time away from the sport are any example, Sharapova may come back in even better shape than when she left, according to The Economist.

However, some in the field feel she should not get any wild cards because of the doping. She did get a wild card to compete in the Porsche Grand Prix, but Porsche is one of her sponsors.

Some on Twitter agreed with taking a hard line on doping.

Others were happy Sharapova is coming back to the sport.

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Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova is set to return to tennis this week following a 15-month suspension after testing positive for meldonium.
maria sharapova, return, tennis, doping
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2017-15-24
Monday, 24 Apr 2017 06:15 PM
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